Bury St Edmunds: Pass out parade at fire station for youngsters who have completed nutrition and exercise course

The completion of a healthy living course for youngsters run by Live Well Suffolk and the fire servi

The completion of a healthy living course for youngsters run by Live Well Suffolk and the fire service was marked with a pass out parade at Bury Fire Station. - Credit: Mariam Ghaemi

YOUNGSTERS who have been mentored by firefighters to improve their health have been praised for their achievements.

A pass out parade was held at Bury St Edmunds Fire Station on Saturday to celebrate the completion of Live Well Suffolk’s Alive N Kicking course, which was run in partnership with the fire service.

The young people involved, who are all from the Bury area, were referred to the scheme for nutritional and fitness education as their body mass index (BMI) was above the healthy range.

At the pass out parade the youngsters - aged between nine and 15 - demonstrated to their families the firefighting skills they had learned and were congratulated and awarded certificates for their achievements.

Pat Dacey, district commander for west Suffolk, said it was a “really wonderful, proud event,” adding the youngsters had brought “excitement and vibrancy” to the fire station.

Andy Fry, chief fire officer for Suffolk, said what they had learned was a “massive achievement,” describing the demonstration as “truly brilliant”.

He said firefighters were known for their traditional roles, but the brand could also be used to improve the quality of people’s lives.

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Ali Clements, Alive N Kicking programme manager, said: “They are really good role models.”

The course, which started in January, involved teaching about 16 young people and their families - who also got certificates - about nutrition and healthy living, they took part in drills together, and the youngsters learned firefighting skills which also involves exercise.

Helen-Rose Clark, from Alive N Kicking and who has been working with the families on nutrition, said as well as changes to their eating habits, for some of the young people their confidence has “really gone through the roof”.

“Some of them have had a difficult time with bullying and other things at school. They have said they have really taken a lot from the sessions, as well as making friends with myself and the firemen.

“They have really enjoyed it.”

She added a few of the young people had lost quite a lot of weight along the way.

Lisa Button’s son Scott, 10, has just completed the course. The 42-year-old, from Thurston, said: “It’s just been absolutely brilliant, just thoroughly enjoyed it.”

She added: “It’s benefited the whole family, really.”

Mr Fry said there was a huge demand for the course, which runs termly in Bury, so if businesses are able to sponsor to call 01473 260588.

Live Well Suffolk is the healthy lifestyles service for people in the county.