A life changing visit

An inspired educator changed her career after a visit to a school changed her outlook on life.

20-year-old Beth Dey had been working in nurseries with young children when an outreach opportunity with her volunteer group gave an insight into a new career.

The Lemington native has been involved Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service’s (TWFRS) Fire Cadets for around 8 years now – first as a cadet then becoming a cadet leader when she graduated the programme back in late 2021.

Beth and her cadet group at West Denton Community Fire Station have become involved with fundraising activities and community safety events at Hadrian School.

After a visit to the school to teach their young people about fire safety in the autumn of 2022, Beth was inspired by the work and support they provide their young people.

That very night, Beth went home and looked for vacancies at the school to see if she could change careers.

To her surprise, they were recruiting for a Support Assistant role working in a subject specific class – something Beth was extremely interested in.

During the interview for the role, interviewers recognised Beth but couldn’t quite place her.

And at the end it finally clicked, she was part of the Fire Cadet group that had been fundraising for the school.

Beth said “Applying for this role was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, it’s such a rewarding role.

“When I was interviewing for the role, I didn’t want to mention how we’d worked together during recent fundraising but since I’ve started everyone looks at me thinking they know me from somewhere.

“The first visit here just opened my eyes to the incredible work the teachers and support staff do here to provide education to those not in mainstream school and I found it inspiring.

“I’d spent time leading training sessions in my volunteer role as a Fire Cadet Leader and I think that prepared me for the role.”

And today (Tuesday) TWFRS’s cadet lead is congratulating Beth on her new role and the ability to form a closer bond with Hadrian School.

Kristen Lynn, Community Relationship Manager from TWFRS’s Prevention and Education department, said “Beth has been a part of our fire cadets for almost a decade now and is an inspiration.

“It’s so lovely to see that her work with the fire cadets has helped her find a career that she is passionate about.

“We’ve been working closely with Hadrian School for nearly a year now and the cadet group at West Denton even adopted them as a friend of the cadets last year.

“I really hope that some of our other cadets look to Beth as the inspiration that she is.”

TWFRS Cadets are aged 11-17 and meet across the region at different fire stations to improve their communication and leadership skills as well as learning what it takes to be a firefighter.

If you are interested in becoming a fire cadet, you can find more information on TWFRS’s website.