The fire and rescue service have been thanked by a 22-year-old with a lot of talent, as she has now secured a job that will enable her to motivate future generations and turn her life around.
Back in May, Meg Baines enrolled on a Prince’s Trust personal development course with Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS).
The 22-year-old had previously left school when she was just 13 and had come to a crossroads in her life, unsure what to do next.
Meg excelled on the course and impressed instructors so much she was invited to come back and volunteer to help with the next course in September.
Her enthusiasm was infectious and she spent 12 weeks helping others improve their maths and English skills throughout the course.
The Ryhope native knew how tough it could be when you feel like you have no options and was an inspiration to those who attended.
But that wasn’t the end of Meg’s journey and now she has been offered a permanent job as an assistant team leader delivering future courses.
She said “At first it was scary, it’s a big group and there are lots of people but it just offered me the chance to see what was really out there for someone like me.
“I always loved helping people and it was great to see the support the team leaders gave each participant on the course to make sure they got something positive out of the experience.
“I was so glad to come back and volunteer, because I love to see how confident people become on the course it’s so rewarding.
“I spent a lot of time working with people who needed extra support on this course, figuring out what learning styles worked for them and how they could get the most out course.
“I’m so grateful for all the support I received and now I’ve got the opportunity to share that with the next group of learners.”
Meg blew away TWFRS staff during her time on the course, and in the interview for the permanent position in the team.
Divisionary Activities Manager John Anderson has spoken about how Meg is an inspiration to other young people at a crossroads in their life.
He said “Meg has already proven that she is an inspiring individual when it comes to helping people as part of our Prince’s Trust course.
“We can’t wait to have her as a permanent member of the team helping the next generation of participants to thrive on the course.
“Each Team course is different because of the people that attend it and we aim to make everyone who takes part really push themselves like never before.
“This is your opportunity to really step back and look at your life and see what’s working and what’s not and start making a change.”
The Prince’s Trust Team programme is a 12 week programme ran by TWFRS in Community Fire Stations across the region.
In those 12 weeks, participants are pushed out of their comfort zone by taking part in teambuilding outward bounds residential course; a community project; a two-week work placement; and a next steps training week.
Throughout the course the young people also learn about first aid, drug and alcohol awareness, and take part in a variety of fire safety training activities – where they train alongside current serving firefighters.
The course will not affect people’s ability to claim benefits, and all travel costs (by bus or metro) will be covered by the programme team.
Under 19s can also apply for a student bursary to enable them to attend the course.