Inverness personnel preparing to join Anthony Nolan's team of life-savers in the north

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Chairman of the SFRS and Anthony Nolan Trust partnership, Group Manager Andy Watt, visited Inverness to train local crews

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Firefighters in the north have signed up to become part of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) and Anthony Nolan Trust's team of life-savers.

The chairman of SFRS's partnership with the Anthony Nolan Trust, Group Manager Andy Watt, was in Inverness recently to provide local personnel with the training they will need to encourage new bone marrow donors to the register.

He met Group Manager Fraser Nixon, who will lead the local team and personnel from across all directorates in Inverness will help spread the word on the SFRS partnership with the Antony Nolan charity and to help generate donors through engagement with local secondary schools.

Group Manager Nixon said: “The local team are focused on visiting S6 pupils from secondary schools in the Inverness area in the New Year and will use the valuable training Andy delivered recently to assist in delivering presentations.

“After this they will carry out donor recruitment events with the intention of signing up young potential lifesavers to the Antony Nolan bone marrow register.”

The partnerships events in secondary schools are designed to do more than just recruit young people onto the register.

The school events are designed in a way that encourages greater involvement from pupils and allows them to take ownership and put their own `stamp` on the events. It is designed to fit with the school’s curriculum and help them to develop positive citizenship within the pupils who participate.

It shows pupils the significant impact they can have on the lives of others through active citizenship and personal commitment. It also allows the SFRS to reaffirm in a positive manner, its commitment to saving and improving lives and one of the Service’s key messages is that it is there to support and protect everyone whilst they go about their lives.

The programme is inclusive, providing young people, regardless of academic ability or social background, the opportunity to step forward and help others, giving them an enormous sense of pride and wellbeing.

GM Andy Watt, Chair of the Partnership said: “The SFRS/Anthony Nolan partnership has evolved over the years that we have been operating and now focuses on delivering recruitment events in schools, ensuring we are adding quality donors to the register. Young adults under 30 years of age have a far higher chance of being a match for someone and the transplant has a greater chance of success with better patient outcomes.”

“We’re fortunate that a number of LSO areas across the service have stepped forward, volunteered to be involved and have established volunteer groups within their respective areas. This will enable us to recruit even greater numbers of young people onto the register and help save more lives of people with blood cancer.

“Everyone involved has kindly volunteered to deliver the lifesaving work of this partnership across the service, and we are extremely grateful and appreciative of that. It really is an exciting time for the Partnership and this year will be by far our biggest and best to date.

“Thanks again everyone for their continued support, work and commitment on behalf of the Partnership.”

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