Twenty-eight unemployed 16 to 25-year-olds from Blackpool, some of whom come from difficult backgrounds, have successfully completed the five-day course.
The programme included a range of outdoor survival exercises used to train military personnel which helped the learners to develop confidence, team building and problem-solving skills. They completed an emergency first aid qualification and also heard talks from guest speakers such as Dave Rigby, from the North West Ambulance Service who spoke to the youngsters about knife crime.
There was a final ceremony in which Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner, presented the participants with a certificate of completion, watched by their proud families and friends.
Mr Grunshaw has given £20,000 of funding to the Prince’s Trust over the past two years so that four unique programmes can be run and has committed to doing so again this year. Funding is also provided from the Big Lottery for the Get Started With Survival programme, which is delivered by Training 2000 in partnership with The Prince’s Trust.
Mr Grunshaw said: “I was delighted to recognise the achievements of so many young people.
“As well as helping me with my priority of reducing crime and reoffending, the programme also provides young people with the skills and confidence they need to move forward positively to the next stage of their lives.”
Steve Gray, CEO at Training 2000, who also attended the event added: “The Get Started with Survival programme is testament to collaborative working.
“It is changing lives for young people in Blackpool, by giving them the opportunity to develop their confidence and to enter a career in the armed forces.
“The five-day-programme has been successful in that twenty-seven out of the twenty-eight young people who started the programme have chosen to progress onto Training 2000’s Military Preparation Programme and one young person has moved onto the Princes Trust programme. This is a significant achievement and a great start to moving their lives forward. “
Shane Holt, who is also 16 and from Blackpool, agreed: “Before the course, all I did was play on my Xbox and I was really lazy. But since taking part, I have improved on my fitness and discipline and I want to go into the Royal Marines.”
Further to this, following the programmes this year there was a 97 per cent reduction in those who had taken part being stopped by the police and a 90 per cent reduction in arrests. Before taking part, the participants had gone missing from home 220 times between them. But after taking part, this reduced by 100 per cent to zero.
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