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Clacton schoolboys complete Firebreak

A special Firebreak course designed to provide high quality positive male role models and invaluable life skills took place at Clacton Fire Station yesterday (Thursday, August 11).

Specially trained instructors at Essex County Fire and Rescue Service worked with youngsters, aged 11 to 15, who are receiving support from not-for-profit project Lads Need Dads CIC.

Eight schoolboys from Clacton County High School are taking part in a pilot project set up by Lads Need Dads CIC and were given the opportunity to use ECFRS hoses, took part in mock rescues, built dams and learn about home fire safety.

The pupils were joined by four of their mentors, who have been working closely with the teens over the past six months on a male-led mentoring programme called 'Equip'.

Lads Need Dads is a new Community Interest Company based in Tendring that seeks to empower and enable boys, aged 11 to 15, with absent fathers or limited access to a male role model, to be motivated, responsible, capable and emotionally competent.

Station Officer Karl Amoss, ECFRS Community Development and Safeguarding, said: “The boys and their mentors were star pupils and really embraced every challenge throughout the day.

 “All the participants worked superbly as a team, and showed confidence and dedication to all the activities throughout the day.

 “I would like to thank all our instructors who showed great professionalism and enthusiasm.”

Sonia Shaljean, Lads Need Dads Founder, said: “As a reward for all their hard work on Equip, our school based six-month programme, we treated the boys and their mentors to take part in a fun, yet challenging, Firebreak course.

“These youngsters were nominated by each other and the mentors, as putting in that extra effort in sessions and were also pupils with the highest attendance.

“I would like to thank Essex County Fire and Rescue Service for supporting both our boys and their mentors through their development.”

Anyone interested in finding out any more information about Firebreak can email the Community Safety Team on firebreak@essex-fire.gov.uk

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