The Phoenix Project
The Sunderland Phoenix Project was established in 2000 and is delivered in collaboration and partnership between TWFRS and Sunderland Youth Offending Service (YOS).
The initiative was set up in response to the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act which stated that reducing crime, disorder and anti social behaviour was not just a police problem and local authority organisations should do more to address these issues. In 2003 the CDA was amended to place a specific responsibility on Fire and Rescue Services so with the Sunderland Phoenix Project already in place TWFRS were ahead of the game.
The Project has developed over the years and currently is a programme of three courses aimed at young people aged between 11-17 years who are known to be offending or are at risk of offending. The main aim of the programme is to change attitude and behaviour, instil confidence and self esteem, discipline and self discipline, team working and social skills. Create empathy for the Fire Service and understand the dangers of fire, fire setting and hoax calls. We use the neutral status of the Fire Service and the Firefighter role model to achieve these aims.
Ultimately, addressing these areas leads to better attendance in school and more potential employment opportunities.
The first course in the programme is the Phoenix, a 4 day course in which students don fire kit and engage in practical training based on the firefighter. The course culminates in an end of course presentation and drill where students perform in front of the families and receive there certificates from the Mayor and Mayoress of Sunderland.
The second course in the programme is the Respect course and to meet the criteria to attend students must stay out of trouble with the police, show improved behaviour at home and in school for a period of 3 months. This course is 2 days.
The third course in the programme is the advanced course, a 3 day course where students attend part of the course as a residential overnight stay at an outdoor activity centre. Students must meet the criteria as in the Respect course but for a period of six months to attend.
We deliver many Phoenix, Respect and Advanced courses throughout all of the districts in our Service, to an average of 250 youths every year.
The Phoenix Project has been evaluated many times over its life span but a recent independent study, published in December 2011 has demonstrated that 92% of young people who complete the programme do not offend in the following 12 months.
In 2010 the Project won three National Training Awards including overall winner of the year 2010 in the Partnership and Collaboration category, judges stating that the Phoenix Project was “a truly life changing initiative”
The project is also run in other district areas and is successfully delivered from other fire stations in those districts when required.
For further information contact Mark Ledger on 0191 4441286 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org