AFG Liverpool and Knowsley learn how to stay safe at home and in the community

A group of 11 people we support in Liverpool and Knowsley met firefighters and had a day out at the Toxteth Fire Fit Hub on 17 July thanks to the fundraising efforts by a group of young people from The Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service Prince’s Trust Programme.

The 14 members of the Prince’s Trust Team Programme, which is based at the Toxteth Fire Fit Hub, raised £495 to pay for lunch and a day out for the people we support in Liverpool. They also staged sports activities and cooking activities during the day and firefighters from Red Watch at Toxteth Community Fire Station showed a rescue drill involving winching a firefighter from 20 feet up a tower.

Hailey Wood, from Mencap Liverpool, is working on a new partnership project with AFG to support people with a learning disability to access the community through volunteering. In addition, Hailey runs a weekly social group for people with learning disabilities, that meets every Wednesday at The RAFA Club, Huyton for different activities and days out in the community.

She said: “It was a fantastic opportunity for the group to try something new and be involved in a community outreach project. The activities have been really exciting and the teams have been wonderful. I would like to say a big thank you to Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service and the Prince’s Trust – it has been a day to remember.”

She added: “Mencap Liverpool is a standalone charity serving the needs of people with a learning disability and their families and carers in the city. I am taking Mencap Liverpool’s fantastic practices to help those supported by Alternative Futures Group to make a positive and valued contribution to the community.”

A hose down at the Toxteth Fire Fit Hub fun day

A hose down at the Toxteth Fire Fit Hub fun day

Leanne, supported by AFG Liverpool said: “I thought all the activities that were offered were good and there was plenty to do. I think the activities I enjoyed the most were table tennis and basketball. I didn’t know how to play them two at first but now I can and I would love to go again.”

Prince’s Trust Team member Chloe, said: “It was fantastic to work with people with disabilities. It brought out my caring side and it was great that they really enjoyed their day.”

Lisa Smith, Team Leader for the Prince’s Trust Team programme at the Toxteth Fire Fit Hub, said: “The young people planned this day from scratch and it was great to see so many smiles on the faces of the adults who attended from AFG Liverpool.”

She added: “Reaching groups such as this is an important part of work not only by our firefighters but also other staff including advocates. Circumstances such as learning difficulties can make people more vulnerable to fire and we hope the safety tips given throughout the visit to the Toxteth Fire Fit Hub will help to keep these adults and others safe from fire.

“During the 12-week Prince’s Trust Team Programme course, young people get involved with fundraising, helping communities and building their skills to help them find work.”

Byline: Karl Mansfield, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Corporate Communications.