£70,000 Funding For Cleveland’s Fire Support Network

A charity that provides fire-related services from safety advice to practical support following a domestic fire has received vital funding of £70,000 from Cleveland Fire Brigade’s Risk Management Services company.

The Fire Support Network, started in 2007, provides an invaluable service to local communities across Cleveland, especially to those who are vulnerable including the elderly, people with sensory loss or recovering from the trauma of a fire in their home.

The help can range from the fitting of free smoke alarms and other equipment to re-furnishing and emotional support.

The £70,000 will help the Fire Support Network, which has around 100 registered volunteers, purchase equipment and cover administration and training costs. The charity works alongside Cleveland Fire Brigade personnel, including operational fire-fighters, and in partnership with housing providers, schools, fire safety system companies and social care providers.

CFB Risk Management Services, a not-for-profit Community Interest Company, is the first of its kind to be set up in the UK by a Fire Authority and provides high quality and cost-effective risk management services to the high- hazard private sector.

Heather Whyman of the Fire Support Network, based at Coulby Newham Fire Station, said: “We receive so many letters from grateful people just wanting to say thank you for the equipment or the advice and support they have had so our work is really valued by the community.

“It is very much a team effort and we are really pleased to have this vital funding and support from CFB Risk Management Services.

“We couldn’t do what we do without our volunteers and always welcome more. In addition to knowing that they are making a real difference to the lives of people in their community they also get the opportunity to undergo training in first aid, arson prevention, fire alarm fitting and maintenance.

“Volunteers are involved in visiting homes to promote fire safety, installing free fire alarms or testing appliances for safety, attending events and exhibitions as well as providing emotional and practical support to people affected by the trauma of a domestic fire.

“The Fire Support Network can also link people in to other support from charities, housing providers and social care as well as helping with the cost of replacement items,” she added.

Gary Cawley of CFB Risk Management Services, said: “The Fire Support Network plays an invaluable role in the community in a number of ways including fire prevention, safety and after-fire support. The profits made by our Risk Management Services company all go back into community projects, such as this, that improve safety for thousands of families in the Tees area.”

The Fire Support Network is on 01642 288009 and at www.clevelandfiresupportnetwork.org Details of CFB Risk Management Services are available from 01429 874088 and at www.cfbriskmanagement.com

Photo: Heather Whyman of the Fire Support Network with Gary Cawley of Cleveland Fire Brigade Risk Management Services which is backing the charity with funding of £70,000.