Supporting volunteers who support our communities

From L to R: Peter Gugan, Heather Whyman, Phil Lancaster, Dave Turton, Anthony Davies, Alice Dent, Les Jones, Naomi Theakston, Leigh-Ann High and David Johnson

SENIOR managers from Cleveland Fire Brigade found out what it is like to be a volunteer when they joined the Cleveland Fire Support Network Team.  

Director of Community Protection Phil Lancaster, Head of Community Safety Les Jones and Hartlepool District Manager Dave Turton spent time helping with some of the everyday tasks undertaken by the network – a volunteer organisation which works alongside the Brigade to provide community safety services including support for people who have been the victims of a fire. 

Some of the work the group undertook included fitting sensory loss alarms which are designed for people with hearing impairments, carrying out Home Fire Safety Visits to ensure that homes have working smoke alarms fitted in the correct place and knocking on doors to speak to residents about fire safety and general health and wellbeing.

L to R: Leigh-Ann High, Mrs Burgen, Phil Lancaster, Les Jones and Peter Gugan

Heather Whyman, the Network’s Chief Executive, said: “The Cleveland Fire Support Network started in June 2007 and now has over 100 volunteers who all bring different skills and knowledge to the team. We work alongside Fire Brigade personnel, supporting the work they do.

“As a charity, we aim to make a difference to the lives of people within our communities across Cleveland, providing a positive and caring service, particularly through our after-fire support which can be anything from having a cup of tea and a chat to sourcing furniture to replace what has been lost.

“We also support the Brigade by carrying out Home Fire Safety Visits, provide interpreting skills and deliver CPR training.”

Phil Lancaster, the Fire Brigade’s Director of Community Protection, added: “The volunteers do an incredibly important job and going out with them into the community and seeing first-hand the contribution they have made to people in our local area has been a positive experience.

“To have so many people who are willing to give up their spare time is fantastic and increases the community safety work we can do and we are delighted to support the network in return through the provision of skills and training.”

If you would like to become a volunteer with the Cleveland Fire Support Network, contact Heather Whyman on 01642 288009 or click here to find out more.