Fire Service staff are rewarded for their commitment to helping young people

A North East fire and rescue service have been recognised nationally for their work keeping the region’s children safe and out of trouble.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) don’t only deal with fire and safety emergencies across the region, they also have a responsibility to support and educate young people.

They work with young people to divert them from making choices that may put themselves and their communities at risk, or might mean they do not achieve their full potential.

Their Diversionary Activities team work closely with schools, youth offending teams and community groups throughout the year.

Not only do they help steer young people on the cusp of criminality back onto the right track, but they help develop vulnerable young people, or those low on confidence by giving them vital life skills for their future success.

Through courses such as the Phoenix Programme and Prince’s Trust, the Service have helped changed the lives of hundreds of young people.

And now their hard work has been rewarded after the Service was formally accredited by the Government’s matrix Standard.

Today (Friday) one of TWFRS senior leaders is praising the team involved for their hard work and thanking the region’s young people for getting involved.

Area Manager for Community Safety Paul Russell said: “I am so proud of the hard work and effort that goes into our diversionary programmes.

“They allow positive opportunities for the young people in our region to discover their passions in life whilst giving back to the community.

“Each course we do is influenced by the people that attend and for the last 20 years we’ve had some incredible success stories which include a few Prince’s Trust participants joining us as full-time members of staff.

“To be recognised in this way is fantastic and is testament to the team that delivers the course.”

The matrix Standard is owned by the Department for Education (DfE) and ensures the delivery of high-quality Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) services that enable people to reach their full potential.

The Standard is delivered by the Growth Company and is applicable in all IAG settings including, education, skills, employability, careers, health advice, money advice, and more as you will discover in our case studies.

TWFRS’s Diversionary Activities team look after the Prince’s Trust Team Programme and the Phoenix programme for the Service.

Both programmes focus on getting young people from across the region to channel their energy into the positive effect they can have in the community rather than the negative.

TWFRS are celebrating 20 years of delivery of the Prince’s Trust Team programme, a 12 week course that provides young people with vital life skills.

While the Phoenix programme is a collaborative educational three-part programme that focuses on developing self-discipline, team work, social skills, positive attitudes and good behaviour in young people.

Roger Chapman, Head of the matrix Service for The Growth Company said:
“This is a fantastic achievement for Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service’s Divisionary Activities team and I would like to congratulate them on their success.

“We believe that at the heart of high-quality advice and support services are strong leadership, excellent service and a focus on continuous improvement, all underpinned by effective use of the resources available.

“The matrix Standard is designed to benchmark organisations against best practice in these areas.

“With their accreditation success, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service’s Divisionary Activities team is working to provide the best possible support.”

TWFRS are calling on anyone interested in joining their next Prince’s Trust Team Programme to get in touch now.

The next course begins on 18th September in Washington, Farringdon, and South Shields and it is absolutely free to join.

Further information can be found on the TWFRS website where people can also fill out the online form to sign up for the next course.

For more information about the matrix Standard please visit