Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) has launched the first Fireskills programme for young people in Tarbert.

The programme comes in response to legislation and government policy, which sets out a clear requirement for SFRS to contribute towards improving life chances for young people.

A ten-week programme started at Tarbert fire station recently, involving 12 young people from Sir E Scott School and supported by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s community learning and development department.

Western Isles group commander for SFRS Gavin Hammond said: “I am so pleased that after a lot of hard work we are now able to deliver this fantastic youth programme on the Isles.

“They were understandably nervous, and I am really proud of them all already for embracing the opportunity. I am genuinely excited for all involved and our local fire fighters have committed so much already to get us to this point.”

The Fireskills programme is a blend of practical activities based on firefighter drills and reflective learning to enable the young people to recognise their achievements. It’s being delivered by SFRS personnel and workers from partner organisations.

Gavin said: “For many the programme will be their first encounter with the world of work and will assist with making a transition from school.

"To be in a position where we can positively make a difference to these young people, watching them grow in terms of their self-esteem, confidence, self-respect and respect for others is amazing.”