Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service (GRFS) have been taking Action on ACEs since the beginning of our campaign in 2018. SkillZONE Manager Donna Potts, regularly attends our events and was one of the first to get involved in supporting our work, by delivering ACEs awareness sessions to colleagues and volunteers.

Volunteers at the county’s SkillZONE in Gloucester, an educational facility that sees thousands of children and young people coming through its doors, received ACEs training during their safeguarding refresher.

Donna said: “I have delivered ACEs awareness sessions to as many people as I can and will continue to do so. I’ve trained almost all wholetime firefighters, on call firefighters in Stroud and Gloucester and 30 volunteers.  I have now identified a gap for the on call stations outside those areas and I am looking at ways of including ACES awareness in their annual CPD.”

GFRS have also co-created a project with Young Gloucestershire/InfoBuzz and Gloucestershire Constabulary. Called Safer in the Community, it’s designed to provide education and support to 150 primary school children who are at risk of violence or offending.

The GFRS element is called Stop Think Go and is a practical session over three days at SkillZONE and at a local fire station to improve confidence, decision-making and communication. The project lead for our element is Abi Jones,who joined GFRS from a charity that worked to build peer mentor networks for children and is ACEs aware.  This programme, supported by Home Office funding, is aimed at children where we know there will be 4+ ACEs and there is a final graduation day during which we are doing everything we can to get parents involved.

To find out more contact Donna Potts