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Team work and developing skills was top of the agenda for a group of Tonypandy students who followed an intensive and exciting course at the local fire station thanks to Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Building the Future Together scheme.

 The teenagers were selected as part of the Phoenix Project being delivered through Tonypandy Fire Station which challenges existing attitudes and promotes independent thinking in young people. Through a series of activities, the young people were able to develop personal skills such as working as a team, exploring physical and mental limits.

 The course is delivered across a four day period with a maximum group size of 10 people. It allows students to engage in Fire and Rescue Service activities such as hose running, using ladders, search and rescue and first aid. There are many opportunities for self exploration such as coping under pressure as part of a team and dealing with demanding tasks as part of a day activities.

Building the Future Together is a £14million project in Rhondda Cynon Taf working in partnership with the Council’s Services For Young People, Children’s Services, Cultural Services, Coleg Morgannwg and secondary schools. The three-year project is part financed by the Convergence European Social Fund through the Welsh Assembly Government and aims to improve the life chances and career opportunities of many thousands of young people in the County Borough.

 Through the support of a Key Worker and Youth Coach, employed in each secondary school and street-based detached youth workers across Rhondda Cynon Taf, the project aims to help young people to reach their potential and achieve their goals in life.

The group of Tonypandy Community College students, aged between 13 and 14 who took part in the scheme were identified as young people who could benefit from improving their knowledge and skills through attending the fire station activities.

 Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning Cllr Eudine Hanagan explained: “Building the Future Together is making a major, positive impact on the lives of so many young people and to date more than 3,000 individuals have received the support and encouragement from the project.

“By working in partnership with the Phoenix Project at Tonypandy Fire Station, the students were able to develop team building skills and their knowledge of the fire and rescue service, possibly encouraging some of them to follow a career in this field.”

 Building the Future Together targets the 11 to 19 year olds, offering a range of activities, intensive one to one support for young people where required  and  importantly aims to raise aspirations, boost confidence and support pathways to further learning and employment. Building the Future Together is already improving thousands of young lives.