YITWest Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Youth Intervention Team has received a top accolade for its pioneering work with partners to improve the lives of young people.

The team won the Partnership of the Year award at FIRE Magazine’s Excellence in Fire and Emergency Awards 2016, held in London. Judges agreed that the team had made a ‘discernible improvement to the community they serve’ and that they had shown innovation and ingenuity.

The Youth Intervention Team provides a range of courses based on the themes of fire and road safety, health and wellbeing. The courses are aimed primarily at vulnerable young people and are designed to improve life chances by boosting confidence, strengthening resilience and providing practical support.

The team’s mission is to be a catalyst for change in the lives of young people. Kathryn Richardson, Youth Intervention Team Manager, said: “I am incredibly proud that the hard work the team has put into to creating meaningful and productive partnerships over the year has been recognised on a national level and that these relationships help to promote change in the lives of young people in West Yorkshire. Our trainers and instructors are committed and passionate and they provide fantastic role models to the young people we work with.”

Chris Kirby, Area Manager for Fire Safety, said: “It is fantastic to see the team’s efforts rewarded. To be recognised nationally is a fantastic achievement and one they should be very proud of. Having seen the great work the team do to engage with young people across West Yorkshire, I am looking forward to watching this work develop into the future.”

Councillor Judith Hughes, Chair of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority, said:” I am extremely proud of the courses the team have developed over the last 18 months and I am delighted that this has been recognised nationally. I would also like to thank our partners who have worked with our staff on these projects. The Authority has faced challenging cuts to budgets, but we believe that young children across West Yorkshire are important and should be a priority, which is why the fire and rescue service is leading the way in promoting health and wellbeing, as well as in fire and road safety.”

Speaking on behalf of the Excellence in Fire and Emergency Awards 2016 Judging Panel, FIRE Editor Andrew Lynch said: "West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service's Youth Intervention Team were outstanding entrants and deserving winners of the Partnership of the Year award. The judging panel were hugely impressed by the breadth and depth of the partnerships established by a small team in a short space of time and the positive impact imaginative and far reaching initiatives have had on the communities of West Yorkshire."