Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


ECFRS nominated for diversity award

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service has been nominated for a prestigious diversity award for its community development and intervention work.

The Service’s Firebreak programme has been shortlisted for the Community Organisation Award at the National Diversity Awards after receiving a nomination from Down’s Syndrome Extra 21.

ECFRS has worked closely with the charity over nine years with hundreds of young people and adults completing the course.

Participants receive home safety advice and improve their confidence and team work through a series of challenging tasks including using fire service equipment and learning first aid.

All nominees for this award are now open to a public vote, which closes on Monday, June 20.

Donna Finch, the Service’s Community Development and Safeguarding Manager, said: “We are delighted to have been nominated for this prestigious award and we thank Down's Syndrome Extra 21 for their kind nomination.

“The success of our diverse Firebreak programme is a credit to the hard work, dedication and enthusiasm of our Community Development and Safeguarding Team.

“I would like to thank all our partners within Essex for supporting our Firebreak programme, which is helping to improve the lives of young people and adults across the County.”

Specially designed Firebreak courses have also been implemented to work with victims, perpetrators and mentors of domestic abuse, to reduce re-offending and anti-social behaviour rates in Essex and to help the job prospects of the long term unemployed.

They also work with those affected by drug and alcohol misuse, social isolation and provide help for other hard to reach members of our communities.

Partners supporting the Firebreak programme include the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Department of Work and Pensions, the Worshipful Company of Firefighters, Anglian Community Trust and many more.

In 2015, ECFRS Firebreak won a global award from Down Syndrome International for its innovative and diverse work with its members.

Greg Stuttle, Chairman of Down Syndrome Extra 21, said: “The course has helped our young people learn essential life skills while improving their teamwork, comradeship and confidence.

“The safety advice has also helped keep young adults with Down syndrome safe in their homes as they live independently. We didn’t think twice about nominating the Firebreak programme for the Community Organisation Award.”

The winner of this week’s public vote will be invited to attend a glitzy ceremony at Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral on September 16

To vote for Essex County Fire and Rescue Service for the Community Organisation Award visit




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