A 14-year-old Staffordshire Fire Cadet is at Buckingham Palace today, November 21, to join in the launch of the national Step Up To Serve Campaign.
"Anthony is a credit to the Fire Cadets scheme and a real success story."
John Cartwright, National Organisational Support Officer for the Chief Fire Officers Association.
Anthony Plant from Meir, Stoke-on-Trent is a member of the Staffordshire Fire Cadets and will be among 50 young people exemplifying the best in youth social action across the UK.
Step Up To Serve is a new independent collaborative campaign to increase opportunities for young people to get involved in social action. It is being launched at Buckingham Palace in conjunction with a national pledge initiative, called #iwill, which will include personal commitments from HRH The Prince of Wales, the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, and the Leader of the Opposition.
Anthony, a pupil at Haywood Academy in Stoke-on-Trent, is working hard to complete his Fire Cadets BTEC coursework. He excels at practical-based training including hose drills, knots and working with operational firefighters. Being part of the Fire Cadets programme has helped Anthony to mature and develop into a motivated young man who hopes to eventually become a firefighter.
The Step Up To Serve campaign aims to double the level of participation in social action – practical action in the service of others – to over 50 per cent by 2020, through expanding existing opportunities, encouraging new ones and overcoming the barriers that stop young people getting involved.
The campaign aims to encourage 1.7 million more young people aged between 10 and 20 years-old to make social action a habit for life. The Fire Cadets are working with the Youth United Network to open more cadet groups to help more young people take part in social action.
John Cartwright, National Organisational Support Officer for the Chief Fire Officers Association, said: “Anthony is a credit to the Fire Cadets scheme and a real success story. He is always the first to volunteer to represent Staffordshire Fire Cadets at any event promoting the scheme, and always behaves in a professional manner.”
Peter Dartford, Chief Fire Officer of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Staffordshire was the first brigade in the country to launch the innovative national Fire Cadets programme and the young people involved are learning vital skills that will help them to become excellent citizens and ambassadors among their peers. I am delighted that already the scheme is making such a positive impact on Anthony's life and his future prospects.”
Haywood Academy is also impressed with Anthony’s progress, focused attitude and desire to achieve.
Annette Barnett, Senior Teaching Assistant added: “Anthony looked like he was going to be a teacher’s nightmare when he came up in Year 6, but joining Fire Cadets has turned his life around. He’s really enjoying it and getting a lot out of it. We’re very proud of him and his achievements.”