Mayor of London Boris Johnson, Commissioner of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority Ron Dobson and the Mayor’s newly-appointed advisor on young people, Ray Lewis, visited Dagenham Fire Station earlier today to meet young people participating in the London Fire Brigade’s Local Intervention Fire Education courses.
The LIFE programme, which was established in 20002, teaches young people between the ages of 13 and 17 fire-fighting skills alongside real fire-fighters. Mayor Johnson and Mr Lewis were shown how the programme aims to give young people a sense of achievement by fostering teamwork, self-discipline and participation in their local communities.
Speaking at today’s event Mayor Johnson said the courses are “one of the London Fire Brigades most successful youth engagement programmes and it is extremely encouraging to see for myself the enthusiasm among those involved. Research has shown that the programme has made a real difference – 80 per cent of those taking part did not offend after completing the course.
“These programmes reach out to the young people in our communities and improve motivation and confidence. LIFE has built an impressive list of achievements over the last three years with positive feedback from all quarters of the community. I look forward to assisting LIFE and similar programmes to flourish in the capital”.
The Mayor’s advisor, Ray Lewis, said: “The success of the LIFE programme to date is evidence of how local participation and engagement with young people in our communities can deliver real and positive change. The Mayor and I are committed to build on these programmes and work with voluntary groups across the Capital, making a real difference to the lives of young people and their families in London”.