Students from Pencalenick School in Truro took part in a passing out parade at Falmouth Fire Station recently after successfully completing the Phoenix course.

The youngsters from the school, which specialises in complex learning difficulties and disabilities, had taken part in the five day course which aimed to improve their life, problem and communication skills.

During the ceremony, held in front of proud family and friends and local dignitaries, the 11 young people showcased firefighting techniques, including hose running.

The Phoenix Project has been run by the Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service since 2002 and thousands of people have now benefited from the project which enhances young people’s self-confidence, communication skills and community spirit. The project is funded by West Cornwall Youth Trust.

Dr Julian Commons, Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service Phoenix Project manager, said: “The participants from Pencalenick School have worked extremely hard to succeed throughout this week and we are very proud to be able to work in partnership with the school.”

Chied fire officer, Paul Walker added: “I am very pleased that our Phoenix Team are able to inspire and motivate another wonderful group of young people to achieve. Better communication skills, understanding the benefits of teamwork and improved life skills help our young students to value themselves and others within their families, school and community."

Councillor Sue James, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for environment and public protection, added: “Training like this is an important investment in young people across Cornwall. I would also like to thank our fire service staff for supporting the young people in developing their skills.”