Graduation success for Prince's Trust students

Posted on Friday 4th August 2017

All their hard work was rewarded when nine young students from the Bolton and Wigan Borough graduated from a Prince’s Trust course run by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service. The ceremony marked the culmination of a personal development programme created to encourage young people, aged 16-25, to re-engage with education or working life.

PT_Bolton_267-650px

Students tackled a broad range of activities on the course, ranging from a two week work experience supported by a range of local businesses, to working with young people on a community project.

After completing the 12-week course, they received the Prince’s Trust certificate in Employment, Teamwork and Community Skills. The awards were presented by Mr. Bill Webster, Assistant Vice Chancellor at the University of Bolton and Principal of Bolton College and the Mayor of Bolton, Councillor Roger Hayes.

The students came from a range of backgrounds, with anyone not in education or employment welcome to participate in the course.

‘Many of the students come from a background where a lot of doors are closed in their faces and they are pushed to the back of queue,’ said the course’s organiser, Ann Morris.

‘The key aspect of the programme is developing the confidence of the students. Some of them come in and are not able to look us in the eye or speak to us, but by the end of the course they are getting up to give a speech in front of an audience.’

‘It’s fantastic to see them grow, develop self-awareness, skills and security, and get into a routine.’

The course takes place three times a year and is delivered at Bolton Central Fire Station. During the first six weeks students achieved qualifications in first aid and food hygiene. In weeks seven and eight they undertook their work experience before mock interviews with staff at the University of Bolton.

In the final weeks they took part in a project within the community which included raising funds for and working with Kidz2gether, a group of young people experiencing autism, to give them an enjoyable programme of activities which included working with the Bolton fire crews to look around the engines, go in the smoke house and use the water hoses.

‘This is an environment where the students feel safe, there’s no fear of failing and the positive energy from the team gives them confidence,’ continued Ann.

‘Everyone looks after one another because they all come with challenges they need to overcome. Some of them they have no qualifications so getting a certificate gives them a boost and a sense of achievement that they have worth and value.’

The course is now recruiting for the next team of students for the course beginning on 11th September 2017. Anyone interested in taking part should contact Ann Morris at morrisc@manchesterfire.gov.uk