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Successful first Volunteer Instructor Conference! 07/05/2014

One hundred and twenty Volunteer Instructors from both the Fire Cadets and Volunteer Police Cadets gathered over 25-27 April 2014 at the Lancashire Constabulary HQ, Hutton Hall in Preston for the first ever joint Volunteer Leaders Conference. Delegates travelled from every corner of the country to have an input into assisting the organisations shape the future of the growing programmes.

The Conference was officially opened by Baroness Helen Newlove, the Victims Commissioner for England and Wales, who paid tribute to the volunteers who currently support 10,000 Fire and Police Cadets to become engaged citizens and leaders in their communities. Speaking to Granada TV, Baroness Newlove said, “Volunteers are unpaid workers and it’s not about the money for them, it’s not about titles. They want to do this, they’re passionate and it’s fantastic.”

Several workshops took place which looked at Volunteer Training and the retention, reward and recognition of Volunteer Cadet Instructors. There were some very interesting discussions in these workshops with many saying that all they wanted was support and training in order carry out their role well. Their reward would be to see the young people thriving, achieving and generally enjoying taking part in Cadets.

In order to continue the discussions of the first day, all delegates continued to network at the Lancashire HQ Social Club, which included a quiz hosted by our very own John Cartwright and concluded with Karaoke, including an amazing rendition of “I am the Music Man” by the FSYTA National Training Team!

The Sunday saw several other workshops, where the respective organisations worked separately, allowing those involved in Fire Cadets to discuss the developments made to the National Model, the syllabus and the new Working with Young People Qualification which will be available to Volunteer and Junior Instructors in September.

The event was closed by praising the delegates for their continued support and motivation and for their involvement in the weekend, with a big thanks to the representatives from Capgemini Consulting CDC programme, who facilitated the conference on a voluntary basis.

Outputs from the conference will be gathered and summarised and uploaded to the FSYTA Website in due course at the following link: http://www.fsyta.org.uk/info-centre/fire-cadets/national-framework/conferences/

As put admirably by Howard Coppenhall, Volunteer Instructor with Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, and many others across the weekend … “FEEDBACK IS A GIFT” so if anyone would like to provide any feedback on the National Fire Cadets Scheme, please do so using the ‘Get In Touch’ link at the bottom of the page.