TWFRS praised by charity workers for helping refugees settle into their new home

A fire and rescue service have been praised by charity workers after helping four refugees to build confidence and find employment in Tyne and Wear.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) has today revealed they recently helped the four young men learn new skills and find confidence after recently settling in the region.

The refugees, who had come to the North East from Eritrea and Sudan, had been enrolled in the Princes Trust Course ran by staff at the Service in February.

They spent 12-weeks with the programme during which they trained alongside serving firefighters, underwent team building activities and completed work placements at Sainsbury’s and a local coffee shop.

It is a free course, based at the time out of Farringdon Community Fire Station in Sunderland, which is open to young people aged between 16 and 25 who are at a crossroads in their life.

And today the charity, The British Red Cross, paid tribute to TWFRS for helping the refugees to settle in the North East following a turbulent time in their life.

Jenny Newby, emergency response officer for the British Red Cross in the North East, said: “The British Red Cross works with refugees in the North East and throughout the UK to empower them to integrate and play active roles in their communities.

“Finding employment is critical to doing that so programmes offering refugees the chance to build their confidence while gaining experience of working alongside other people are incredibly important.

“We believe that every refugee matters and initiatives like this can go a long way towards helping people establish themselves and make connections.”

The leader of the course for TWFRS has praised the four young men for getting involved in the course and said they have now gained a qualification after completing the course earlier this month.

Alan D’Arcy, Youth Engagement Manager at TWFRS, said: “It’s incredibly difficult to come to a new country and immerse yourself into a new world.

“We see people from all walks of life that come onto the course and turn their life around – whether that’s finding friends here, finding a job, or gaining this qualification.

“We want to prepare these young people for the working world as well as give them the tools to have a successful future.

“Working towards a qualification whilst learning things about yourself you might never have known is a big part of what we do and we are so proud of each person that takes part.

“These young men in particular did fantastically well and we will always be on hand to offer them advice and support as they build their lives here in Tyne and Wear.”

The course is aimed at young people who are in need of guidance, they may be unemployed, struggling with confidence and motivation, needing career guidance or just wanting a new direction in life.

Throughout the course the young people also learn about first aid, drug and alcohol awareness, and take part in a variety of fire safety training activities – where they train alongside current serving firefighters.

The next course begins on 9th May in Washington, if you are interested you can call or text the word FIRE to 07584006913.

The course will not affect people’s ability to claim benefits, and all travel costs (by bus or metro) will be covered by the programme team.

Under 19s can also apply for a student bursary to enable them to attend the course.