— The Mayoral Medals series introduces you to each of the six inspirational people who won the award this year, chosen by the Right Worshipful Mayor of Lincoln. More stories from this series.
Andy Payne, the Youth Engagement Manager at Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, received his mayoral award from the City of Lincoln for his contributions to safety awareness with the county’s school children and for his many years of service to the Prince’s Trust programme.
The Mayoral Medal recognises Andy’s work with the local community and his efforts to improve the life prospects of many of Lincoln’s disadvantaged young people.
His multi-agency Stay Safe Days have helped to inform youngsters about the impact of anti-social behaviour, internet safety, first aid, and general fire safety – with glowing feedback from students, teachers and other partner agencies.
Commenting on the public response to the Stay Safe scheme, Andy said: “The evaluations from all the days has been extremely positive; from both children and teachers alike, stressing how vital they see these days and it’s a great way of teaching important safety messages.”
“The Stay Safe programme has provided thousands of school children in Lincoln with the knowledge required for their transition to secondary school over the last four years.”
Andy also received the award for his efforts in securing extra funding for the Prince’s Trust Team programme which has enabled the fire service to help even more young people benefit from the scheme.
The first member of Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue to receive the prestigious award, Andy said: “ The medal goes to the whole department and our partner agencies that consistently go that extra mile to give young people the chance at a better life.”
“My job fits very closely with my personal key values and beliefs. It’s all about helping young people to improve themselves. I’m helping youths get the best out of themselves, improving their confidence and teaching them self-respect.”
The Stay Safe programme features 30 minute sessions from the British Red Cross, Lincolnshire Police and Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue; all aimed at covering the important topics like fire safety, water safety and the benefits of making positive life choices.
Fire related fatalities amongst young people in Lincolnshire remains close to the UK national average according to a 2010/2011 monitor report. However, the overall number of incidents has decreased annually since 2000.
He added: “In the future we would like to continue this great partnership, working between agencies, and increase the number of Stay Safe Days which would mean that more children across the county can benefit from them.”
For more information about Stay Safe Days, or the Prince’s Trust Programme, visit the Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue website. Alternatively, contact the Youth Engagement team on 01522 582 296.