Young firefighters welcome local tenants for Christmas party with a difference
Published by Kelly Elliott for Derwentside Homes Ltd in Housing and also in Communities
Derwentside Homes tenant Bessie Davison, pictured with Derwentside Homes mascot ‘Al the gator’ and Young Firefighters Anthony Forrest and Connor McCabe.
Young firefighters from County Durham got the chance to show off their skills recently during a visit from a group of local housing association tenants.
More than 100 of landlord Derwentside Homes’ older tenants, along with the organisation’s mascot ‘Al the Gator’ visited Consett fire station for their annual Christmas party.
As well as enjoying a festive dinner and entertainment from singer Tony St John, the group were given a tour of the station and the fire engines and taken through a number of drills and fire safety advice.
They were looked after by Connor McCabe, Anthony Forrest and Teagan Duffy, aged 20, who are all members of the Young Firefighters Association (YFA), set up at Consett seven years ago by firefighter Stephen Hodgson, the husband of Derwentside Homes’ Older Persons Services Manager Angela Hodgson, who organised the event.
Tenant John O Reilly, who lives at Derwentside Homes' Magdalene Court in Medomsley, said: "A big thank you to those young firefighters who were truly great showing us around the station and explaining the who, what and where. We now know some young people are still around that have decent values and are tolerant of older people.
“A big thanks as well to all those wonderful Housing Support Officers from Derwentside Homes for looking after us - we call them Angela’s Angels".
The oldest tenant taking part in the event was 104-year-old Alice Coulson, who lives at Derwentside Homes’ Stanley Court and has attended the last three Christmas parties.
A raffle on the day raised £262.25 which will be split between the YFA and Steven Birbeck, who is cycling from London to Newcastle in 24 hours to raise money for the Fraja Ellie Appeal, to send five-year-old Fraja, who has a rare form of cancer called Neuroblastoma, abroad for treatment.
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