Herts CHANGES scheme 180Young people in Hertfordshire have been given life changing lessons this summer, thanks to a scheme run by Hertfordshire County Council's Thriving Families team and Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The services have teamed up for the last two years to inspire and motivate young people through the CHANGES scheme which aims to improve young people’s self-confidence and give them a purpose over the holidays.

CHANGES has been running from Stevenage Fire Station and has shown a group of teenagers what it was like to be a firefighter. They learnt basic firefighting skills such as hose running and were also shown what to do at the scene of a road traffic incident.

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Mark Barber, Station Commander at Stevenage Fire Station said: “It’s brilliant to see how far the group has come along. Every week they seem to become more confident and keen to learn. This event marks the end of the CHANGES project for this year, but we hope more young people take up the opportunity as we’ve enjoyed showing these young people what we do here at Stevenage Fire Station.”

A group of teenagers took part in the course and got the chance to learn new skills and be part of something different every Wednesday from 10.00- 12.30 at Stevenage Fire Station. Additional shorter courses also run throughout the year in the school holidays similar to these sessions.

Richard Roberts, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, added: “I am really pleased that these young people have taken up the opportunity to do something interesting with their summer break.

"I want to thank Hertfordshire Fire Service and also the Thriving Families team for making this happen and hopefully we’ve taught the teenagers who took part in this project some essential life skills to continue being healthy and safe in Hertfordshire and to go on to achieve their full potential in future.”

For more information on the CHANGES project visit: www.hertsdirect.org/thriving