“Overwhelming success” for Can Do and the community

Students from Dumfries and Galloway College have given back to the community by completing fire safety and emergency first aid training.

Participants from Leonard Cheshire in Scotland’s innovative ‘Can Do’ programme, encouraging those aged 16 to 35 with additional support needs to gain new life skills through training and volunteering opportunities in the local community, have spent the first quarter of the year looking at personal and community safety.

The participant led Can Do programme spent seven weeks completing the project, visiting or being visited by organisations including Scottish Fire & Rescue Service, Let’s Get Sporty and Compass Brain Injury. Leonard Cheshire in Scotland also delivered digital and food safety hygiene training to the Dumfries Can Doers.

The participants from Dumfries and Galloway College created packs of ‘Can Do’ crayons to accompany activity books devised by the college’s Creative Industries students. This activity book can be given to educate vulnerable or young individuals while more importantly distracting them from a crisis. The Can Doers presented their crayons to the fire service during the penultimate session.

Tommy Keay, Group Manager of Scottish Fire & Rescue Service in Dumfries, said:

“We would like to thank the Can Doers for the provision of the crayons, which supplements the college’s comfort books to be used in emergency situations. This is a coping strategy in place for young folk who are affected by these incidents.”

The Can Doers were taken to Dumfries Fire Station to present the packs of crayons in exchange of extensive training in CPR and fire safety. The group got to witness the array of equipment onboard a fire engine, completing it off by the experience of using a hose and sitting in the deck.

Jack, a Dumfries Can Doer, said:

“I liked being in the back of the fire engine, seeing all the equipment and learning what to do with it. I want to experience the inflatable water boat the fire service use next time.”

Participants of the Can Do programme have learned how to work together in order to grow their social skills and safety knowledge, initiating their own method of giving back to the community through a range of different sessions.

Tracey McHallam, Senior Lecturer at Dumfries and Galloway College, said:

“This project has been an overwhelming success for the college and the Can Do programme. Not only does this promote student independence, it encourages them to make real life choices and become involved in the local community.”

Participants of the project were due to have a final award ceremony to commemorate their work of giving back to the community at Dumfries and Galloway College. The event was cancelled due to the outbreak of COVID-19. All participants have been sent a certificate pack from the Can Do programme.

Media enquiries

For further information, high res images or interview requests please contact: Kieran Scott (Communications and Research Officer) at kieran.scott@leonardcheshire.org or 0131 346 9040.