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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Campaigning Will Boost Community

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service have launched a new course to reduce anti-social behaviour in Huntington, South Staffordshire. HEAT (Huntington Environment and Arson Team) is being supported by Youth Services and 'Safer Stronger Communities Funding' from South Staffordshire Council.

Young people aged between 14 and 16 will engage in workshops run by Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service at Littleton Youth Centre. The workshops will examine the consequences of arson and hoax calls, the environment, road safety and drugs and alcohol.

"Working together with the fire service and the police is key to helping keep our communities safe."

Brian Edwards, Leader, South Staffordshire Council

To finish off the project the young people will be designing and creating a graffiti wall. At the end of the project the students will be hosting a celebration evening where their work of art will be revealed.

They will also receive an ASDAN (Award Scheme Development and Accreditation Network) qualification for completing the course.

Katherine Haigh, Community Risk Reduction Officer, said the aim of the project was to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in Huntington, particularly deliberate fires.

"During the last Easter holidays there were 18 deliberate grassland fires in the area," said Katherine.

"Police investigations discovered it was local young people who had started these fires, which caused significant damage to the community. Consequently we felt it was important for us to engage with young people in the area and HEAT is one of the projects that has come about as a result."

Councillor Brian Edwards, Leader of South Staffordshire Council and community safety champion added: "Projects like these could help make a real difference. The reality is that fire kills and anything we can do work with young people to cut the number of deliberate fires has got to be positive.

"Working together with the fire service and the police is key to helping keep our communities safe."

Youth Worker, Kirsty Coghlan commented: "It has been brilliant to engage young people in positive activity. H.E.A.T is empowering them to make positive decisions and understand the consequences of all issues surrounding young people in the Littleton area."

The members of the HEAT project will be showcasing their work at the Huntington Community Day on June 2nd at Littleton Green Community School.