Volunteer recognition event held to say thank you

HIWFRS Volunteers at thank you evening


28/03/2024 4:47pm


Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service

A volunteer recognition evening was held on Tuesday 26 March to celebrate Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service (HIWFRS) volunteers.

Now in its second year, the volunteer recognition event brought together volunteers and their families with HIWFRS colleagues and dignitaries for an evening of celebration and thanks at HIWFRS Headquarters in Eastleigh.

After a warm welcome from Deputy Chief Fire Officer (DCFO) Stew Adamson and HIWFRS Volunteer Programme Manager Lee Joss, some of the volunteers, Harry Finnis, Gary Clements Emily Frith and Lee Parrotte shared their reflections on what volunteering with HIWFRS means to them and all the projects they’ve been involved in.

Volunteer thank you event

HIWFRS Volunteer Fire Cadet Instructor Lee Parrotte said:

“Volunteering to support the fire cadets is the best experience…I can’t explain how great it is!. We work amazing as a team and it’s not just the fact that we’re there to lead, instruct, support and coach our young people, it’s also to be inspired by them. The commitment and enthusiasm of all the cadets is inspiring, heartwarming and it should be encouraged and continued.

“The support we receive from Lee (Joss), Clair (Hayward), Alex (Hamilton) and from everyone at the fire service is absolutely brilliant. Being a volunteer is extremely satisfying and something I’m very proud of.”

HIWFRS Fire Cadet Manager Clair Hayward then introduced a thank you video from the HIWFRS Fire Cadets who paid tribute to all the Volunteer Fire Cadet Instructors who help to run the programme.

The HIWFRS Volunteer Programme is now in its 14th year and the Service currently has over 100 volunteers including members of the community, current operational firefighters, retired firefighters and ex-firefighters. The volunteers support HIWFRS in a variety of roles, from helping to run the Fire Cadet units to promoting fire safety at community events and delivering home fire safety (Safe and Well) visits. Our volunteers also help with Prince’s Trust support, New Forest wildfire prevention patrols, acting as casualties during training exercises and many other tasks.

Special badges to mark the length of Service of some of our volunteers were presented by Vice Lord Lieutenant for Hampshire Colonel Charles Ackroyd TD RD DL during the ceremony.

Volunteer thank you event - Lee Joss and volunteers

“Our volunteers support, complement and supplement the work of paid staff and their contribution is vital to the organisation. In total our volunteers have contributed 10,000 hours this year which is an incredible achievement and I’d like to say a huge congratulations and thank you to them all.”

HIWFRS Head of Prevention Karen Farr closed the proceedings with a final and heartfelt thank you to all the volunteers:

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