believe housing and County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service (CDDFRS) have joined forces to deliver the Phoenix Fire Champions project, which aims to educate year 6 children and their families about deliberate fire setting.
In the last year, CDDFRS has seen a significant rise in the number of deliberate fires across County Durham and Darlington. Due to this rise, the Arson Reduction Team have launched the Phoenix Fire Champions, a six-week project which will see year 6 pupils at schools in West Auckland, Shotton Colliery and Esh Winning take part in numerous activities, designed to raise awareness and create understanding of the consequences and effects deliberate fires can have on themselves, their families and also on the wider community.
Cheryl Stirk, Young People and Arson Reduction Co-ordinator for CDDFRS said “We are very excited to roll out this new initiative, in partnership with believe housing. It’s an excellent opportunity for us as professionals to allow the children to develop peer to peer strategies around reducing deliberate fires with the hope that these ideas can be shared by CDDFRS to provide further education to more young people throughout County Durham and Darlington.
The project aims to help change mindsets of young people who may become involved in fire setting and anti-social behaviour. Not only that, it’s important that we continue to engage positively with young people and the local community to provide education around the risks and consequences associated with deliberate fire setting and we hope that this project is a step in the right direction”.
Funding Officer at believe housing, Damian Pearson, said: “Engaging children before they get caught up in fire related trouble is a great idea. This project has the potential to make a real and long-lasting impact in the community and it’s one that we’re very pleased to be able to support.
“I really hope that this pilot is successful and that we can work with County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service to help more young people across the region understand the dangers of deliberate fires.”