AF&RS supports EmpowHER campaign

Avon Fire & Recuse Service (AF&RS) joined with the Red Cross’ EmpowHER campaign to inspire young women and girls to lead the way on positive change.

As part of the partnership, 11 girls from Moat Primary School in Gloucestershire visited staff and firefighters at Avonmouth fire station for a day of team building and engagement.

Throughout the day on station, the girls took part in teambuilding activities, such as creating structures and problem solving, received a tour of the fire station and fire engines, and were also given a talk on fire safety.

Delivered in three areas around the country, EmpowHER builds young women and girls’ self-esteem and wellbeing by providing inclusive and meaningful social action opportunities to inspire them to lead change in their communities.

This self-esteem and wellbeing development is something that AF&RS is keen to embrace as part of its values of transparency, inclusivity, ambition, honesty, respect and courage.

The Service works with community groups from across the region and is always looking for people to be role models within their own community, whether as a firefighter or advocate for fire safety and other campaigns.

AF&RS is also a keen advocate of mental health and wellbeing, and has taken big steps recently by providing wellbeing spaces, Trauma Risk Management, and family and wellbeing officers across the Service.

Neil Stradling, Avonmouth Station Manager for AF&RS, said: “Mental health, confidence and inspiring role models are all key aspects of the work at Avon Fire and Rescue Service.

“Now more than ever, the role of the firefighter has changed. Firefighters spend more and more time out in the community raising awareness, conducting home fire safety checks and communicating fire prevention and other safety messages, all of which a diverse workforce helps to deliver.

“Campaigns like EmpowHER allow us to reach and engage with the next generation of potential firefighters and role models who will help make their communities safer.

“We are proud to be working with the Red Cross on the EmpowHER programme and hope it demonstrates just how far Avon Fire has come in supporting ever community in the area and beyond.

“We look forward to working with them again in the future and hope the girls all took something positive from the day.”

EmpowHER inspires young women and girls to lead change in their communities. Launched to mark the centenary of women’s suffrage, the youth programme encourages young women and girls to use their voices for positive change – just as their predecessors did 100 years ago.

Led by UK Youth in partnership with the British Red Cross and Young Women’s Trust, EmpowHER addresses the worryingly low levels of wellbeing amongst young women and girls in the UK and supports them give back to their local communities through inclusive and meaningful social action opportunities.

EmpowHER is a two year programme funded by Spirit of 2012 and the #iwill Fund.

Kim Pyle, EmpowHER Youth Engagement Worker, added: “The girls had an amazing day, and it was brilliant to see them all trying out so many new things. 

“I can’t wait to see how they’ll be inspired to share what they’ve learnt about fire safety throughout their community – plus I think we may have some firefighters in the making!”