Youth Programme Shines Blue Lights On New Website
A new website is helping to recruit young people in the South West onto a life-changing programme. 999 Academy offers 16 to 19-year-olds the opportunity to experience what it’s like to work in the emergency services.
Life behind the flashing lights
From residential trips to road traffic collision scenarios, 999 Academy students step into the shoes of emergency service workers. Using staged incidents, they try to solve community problems and challenges. The academy aims to instil valuable and transferable life skills in their students.
Throughout the course, students learn how to use vital, life-saving equipment, such as defibrillators and fire extinguishers. They are also given the opportunity to volunteer and fundraise for local charities.
There’s nothing like it
We asked Exeter-based Responder Manager Robert Horton how 999 Academy began.
“We identified a high drop-out rate of young people from youth groups or worse still, no engagement with any youth group. We found that this was down to a number of social factors, such as associating with different friendship groups, learning to drive and beginning to party and drink.
“These issues are just a few of the factors that can often lead to the use of emergency services. By engaging this age group, we aim to provide them with a back-door view of our emergency services, involving them in a more positive and beneficial way.”
“The programme provides interactive work experience for young people, which is often a challenge to find within the emergency services due to the sensitivity of certain situations. Students at 999 Academy get the unique opportunity to encounter specialist site visits such as police shooting ranges, HART and USAR, they are able to respond to medical emergencies as Community First Responders and see the full variety of functions within each emergency service.”
“We run a very unique programme for this age group, competing with no other organisation out there. We aim to teach valuable life skills that aren’t always in a school syllabus. There is simply nothing like it.”
With over 100 young academy graduates so far, the youth programme aspires to take the academy into every county in the South West, in a total of 12 locations to be exact.
“This goal will become more achievable with the help of our new website,” explains Rob.
The new 999 Academy website was designed and built by Exeter-based creative agency AB.
“Our new website highlights our core values and missions, from a local and national point of view. The simplicity of the new site allows us to update content with the latest information and news, keeping the programme alive, while providing links to localised academies for a more tailored experience.
“With a new login platform, faculty and leaders will be able to communicate with each other, access material and review the programme to help it constantly evolve and improve.
“AB have continued to challenge our thoughts and opinions, helping us make the most out of our new website. They have provided an outstanding experience, from start to finish. It’s been a pleasure,” said Rob.
AB Partner, Ed Burnand said:
“Rob and the 999 Academy are a delight to work for and we are very proud of the work we’ve delivered. We also believe very strongly that 999 Academy is a fantastic initiative and they are very lucky to have as inspirational a leader as Rob to take it nationwide.”
The 999 Academy is organised by Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service, South Western Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust, Devon & Cornwall Police, Avon & Somerset Police Petroc College and Bridgwater and Taunton College.
For more information on AB Creative Agency visit www.ab-uk.com