.

Meet Our Volunteers

Volunteer Pages - Web page Banner

Why not read what our volunteers have to say? 

Community Volunteer: Jordan Hagan 

Community Volunteer for the Deaf Community:  Emma Ashie-Neequaye 

Young Firefighters Association Volunteer Instructor: Jordan Whiteley 

SafetyWorks! Volunteer: Yvonne Gardner

 

Volunteer - Jordan Hagan

What does your role involve? My role involves going out into the community and giving general fire safety advice, working with a member of staff from Prevention

and Education department and knocking on people's door asking if they would like the fire service to come out and provide a free Home Safety Check. Attending events such as Newcastle Pride, MELA and taking part in service exercises acting as casualties.  

What do you enjoy most about your role? I work with a really great team of people, everyone gets along with each other, it's like we’re part of a family, also meeting members of the public and having a chat to them. I enjoy attending events to find out more about different communities. 

What made you want to become a volunteer? I had previously completed a Prince's Trust Programme within the fire service, I went on a two week placement at Newcastle Central Fire Station where I was working in Prevention And Education, shadowing a fire fighter, we would go out and do a Home Safety Check putting smoke alarms into properties, I really enjoyed doing that! After the Prince's Trust Programme came to an end I saw TWFRS were looking for volunteers and I thought that was be a great role for me as I've already done work with the fire service.  

What skills has the role of a volunteer given you? I'm aware of more dangers around the house, I know how to make an escape plan if needed. Communication skills as I wouldn't normally talk to people I didn't know but with the volunteering role that opens it for you as it’s all about communicating whether it's with staff or members of the public.  

How do communities react to the support you provide as a volunteer? A lot of communities are grateful at the support we provide, some people in the community will talk to us if they are having problems because they've got trust in us. 

What's the most important thing you've learnt since you've become a volunteer? The most important thing for me would be is I now know how to keep my family safe in an event of a fire. 

What piece of advice would you give someone who is looking to volunteer for Tyne and Wear Fire & Rescue Service? My only advice would be give it a try, it's a great role to be involved in, you meet some amazing people, work with a really great team, everyone looks out for one another. 

Volunteer - Emma Ashie-Neequaye

What does your role involve? I help staff deliver community safety messages and provide support to the public at events. I am a volunteer for the deaf communities and offer education about fire safety to the most vulnerable people in the deaf community, making sure they know about Emergency SMS, sensory smoke alarms and free Home Safety Checks (HSCs). I sometimes have been asked to go accompany staff to HSCs and use my BSL (British Sign Language) skills to translate the information that being provided. 

What do you enjoy most about your role? Being able to help people in the deaf communities as I'm deaf myself. Being able to communicate in BSL. Attending public events such as station open days, Newcastle and Sunderland Pride days, Mela and disability events. 

What made you want to become a volunteer? I became a volunteer mainly for the deaf communities as they are at risk and some of them are not aware of home safety checks, the importance of checking smoke alarms monthly – some maybe don’t have smoke alarms at all! 

What skills has the role of a volunteer given you? Good communication skills, team working and problem solving. 

How do communities react to the support you provide as a volunteer? They were very grateful and not aware of the danger in their homes if they don’t have working smoke alarms. Some of the communities have passed information on to others for those in need. 

What's the most important thing you've learnt since you've become a volunteer? Even though you think you might know everything about fire safety once you have more knowledge and awareness, you have the confidence to pass this on information to others.  

What piece of advice would you give someone who is looking to volunteer for Tyne and Wear Fire & Rescue Service? You need to be enthusiastic, flexible, confident when speaking to people, loyal and have basic knowledge about fire safety which you will get through training. You meet old / new volunteers and they can give you advice and get involved in lots of teamworking
Volunteer - Jordan Whitley

What does your role involve? My role is supporting the Instructors in providing training and learning opportunities for young people through fire service-related activities.   

What do you enjoy most about your role? When the kids train really hard on a drill night and they go home happy, it makes my job worthwhile. 

What made you want to become a volunteer? I went through the ranks myself as a young firefighter and felt like it did some good for me and I wished to give that back to the YFA so on my 18th birthday I asked a senior member of staff how I could join. 

What skills has the role of a volunteer given you? This role has given me a wide range of skills such as team, communication and many more.  

How do communities react to the support you provide as a volunteer? We have done a number of events in the community and the public have gotten right behind us in support and sponsors. 

What's the most important thing you've learnt since you've become a volunteer? The most important thing is learnt how to talk to a wide range of ages of kids and the different cultures we have within the YFA. 

What piece of advice would you give someone who is looking to volunteer for Tyne and Wear Fire & Rescue Service? If you are look to join the TWFRS volunteering team no matter what role it may be I would say go for it! It’s been one of the best experiences of my life and I have met a lot of great people along the way and am more than sure there will be a lot more.

 

Volunteer - Yvonne Gardner

What does your role involve? Schools from all over the Tyne & Wear area visit the SafetyWorks Centre to learn about how to stay safe in lots of different situations. My role is to deliver the fire safety sessions which makes the children aware of potential fire hazards in their own homes, what they can do to avoid them, and how to get out of the house safely and make a 999 call if fire breaks out. 

What do you enjoy most about your role? SafetyWorks is a really unique centre, it’s like a film set and has a Metro station, a hospital, a park with a lake, a police station, a road and a corner shop! There’s also a house and this consists of a bedroom, living room, kitchen and bathroom. Seeing how much the kids enjoy their visit and how much they’ve learned by the end of it is a fantastic feeling, and you really do feel that you’re doing something worthwhile to help save lives. 

What made you want to become a volunteer? I wanted to do some sort of voluntary work but I wanted to do something a bit different. The moment I saw the TWFRS advert for community volunteers I was intrigued! I spoke to the volunteer co-ordinator to find out more and that was it, exactly what I had been looking for! 

What skills has the role of a volunteer given you? More confidence for a start! We don’t just teach the children – SafetyWorks is an interactive Centre and we want them to be involved in the session as much as possible. Being a volunteer at SafetyWorks has given me the skills to interact with the kids and deliver sessions that get a serious message across but also have a touch of humour. The children love being fully involved and think that the centre is fantastic! 

How do communities react to the support you provide as a volunteer? Absolutely 100% positively – we get lots of thank you cards from the schools and the teachers enjoy the visits too! We always ask the children to tell their families and friends about the free smoke alarm service provided by TWFRS. We explain to the children that their families don’t get the opportunity to visit SafetyWorks so it’s important that they tell them what they’ve learned about staying safe during the visit. 

What’s the most important thing you’ve learnt since you became a volunteer? It’s given me a real eye-opener into the potential hazards in our homes – who would think that unplugging the charger from your mobile phone but leaving it switched on at the socket would be a fire risk? That little metal connector at the end still has electricity going through it and can      overheat! Getting the message across to children in a way that they can understand is vital. You would be surprised by how many of the teachers say that they’ve never thought about the hazards either! 

What piece of advice would you give to someone who is looking to volunteer for Tyne & Wear Fire & Rescue Service? Go for it! It really is a rewarding way of spending your time – I absolutely love it and there’s a great sense of team spirit. There is such a variety of events to cover too, you meet some really interesting people and visit some great places. The support is second to none, and the work that the volunteers do is really valued by TWFRS. 

I’m disabled and I’m the oldest volunteer! Everyone has something to offer so don’t think that you can’t be part of the volunteering team. Lots of organisations state that they promote equality sometimes that just means paying lip service. TWFRS really DO promote equality in all areas.