Youth Council in partnership with WMFS look to help increase Fire Safety awareness at St Basils
18 SEP 2015

St Basils Youth Council in partnership with WMFS look to help increase Fire Safety awareness across St Basils supported accommodation projects

On Wednesday 26th August Crew Commander Steve Gibson from the West Midlands Fire Service attended the St Basils Youth Council Meeting upon invitation from St Basils Youth Engagement Coordinator, Sam Henry.  The purpose of Steve’s visit was to present to the St Basils Youth Council a range of practical measures delivered by WMFS staff that would promote fire safety awareness across all of St Basils accommodation projects.

At the (SBYC) meeting Crew Commander Gibson offered to:

  • Organize a Fire Safety visits to all St Basils accommodations from their nearest WM Fire Station.
  • Arrange a referral pathway to WMFS for St Basils Young People when moving on to have their prospective property undertake a fire safety home check.
  • Explore how St Basils young people can participate in the residential week long Aurora Programme delivered by WMFS.
  • Crew Commander Gibson offered to attend a pilot visit to Safeside, by Short Heath Residents and staff.


Youth Engagement Coordinator Sam Henry reported that: “Having Steve (Crew Commander Gibson) attend the recent SBYC meeting has resulted in really positive outcomes, I am grateful to Steve for his enthusiasm and commitment in developing the partnership between WMFS and St Basils. 

pilot visit to WMFS safeside village 

Following this, 9 young people from St Basils Short Heath accommodation scheme attended WMFS’s YOYO (You’re On You’re Own) Programme. The Programme is run at the Safeside at Eastside flagship facility at WMFS Headquarters on Vauxhall Rd, Nechells, Birmingham.

Using the realistic scenarios in the Safeside village, YOYO is a relaxed and non-judgemental 2 hour session for young people aged of 16-22. The YOYO programme aims to help young people to improve their independent living skills and keep themselves and others safe. It includes amongst other areas, Home safety, Householder responsibilities, Fire safety, Personal safety, Drugs, alcohol and personal decision making.

The group was guided round the Safeside village by a trained Presenter who led them through various realistic simulated scenarios including a house, internet cafe, Nationwide branch with cash machines, court room and street. The facility also boasts having a WM Travel double decker bus and Landrover Jaguar Range Rover for road safety training on a purpose built street intact with pedestrian crossing and traffic lights.

At the end of the tour there was a quiz and a chance to ask any questions.  Feedback word bites from the nine residents were that the Yo Yo tour was:

  • “Involving”
  • “Different”
  • “Alright”
  • “Fun”
  • “Insightful”
  • “Helpful”
  • “Productive”
  • “Useful”
  • “Explorative”