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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Helping Adam's Dreams Come True

Adams dream
Adam, flanked by Nita and Donna at Hanley Fire Station

Adam Knight has moved a giant step closer to fulfilling his career aspirations thanks to Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Adam, 25, from Meir, is currently in the middle of a 12-week work placement with the Service, organised by Stoke-on-Trent City Council's Riverside Employment and Training Centre.

"Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has provided him with new confidence and a set of skills which means he has a lot more to offer potential employers now."

Claire Copeland, Employment Co-ordinator, Stoke City Council

The Stoke-based training centre provides training opportunities for adults with learning disabilities.

Based at Hanley Fire Station, Adam is getting to grips with all aspects of fire service operations.

It is the first time the Fire and Rescue Service has accommodated such training.

Adam said: "I've always wanted to work for the Fire Service because I think it would be exciting and I would learn lots.

“Everytime I come into the station there's a lot going on and people are so friendly. I am really enjoying it.

"Since I started I’ve tried different things. I didn't know there was so much to do."

Watch Manager at Hanley Station, Donna Broadhead, explained the thinking behind Adam's placement.

"We are committed to helping our community by providing people with opportunities which can support their growth and development, personally and professionally," she said.

"The Fire Service community is a wonderfully diverse community where everyone shares the same passion for the job.

"People who want to be a part of that need to be focussed and determined and Adam has the qualities to be a real success."

She added: "His confidence has grown enormously.

"He has shown a great initiative for things and does all his tasks with a smile. He has been doing a lot of admin work as well as covering reception and meeting people at the door and helping with enquiries."

Nita Anderson, who supports Adam on behalf of the Riverside Employment and Training Centre, added: "His communication skills have really improved on this placement and he is a lot more outgoing than he was at the beginning.

"Interacting with the firefighters and other staff has also benefited Adam as he is now able to start conversations himself and engage people better."

The Riverside Employment and Training Centre is a million pound facility opened by the city council last year. It helps adults with learning disabilities improve their self presentation and job skills and strengthen their team working.

The centre boasts a media suite, which helps individuals create personal development plans using photographs, films, sign language and interactive whiteboards.

It also has three conferencing rooms available for hire. Claire Copeland and Wendy Mottram are Employment Co-ordinator’s at Stoke-on-Trent City Council.

Claire described how a recent meeting with Adam produced positive results.

"In our last review I was really really pleased with Adam’s progress," she said.

"Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has provided him with new confidence and a set of skills which means he has a lot more to offer potential employers now.

"His experience at Hanley has fuelled his ambitions to work in the Fire Service."