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Thursday, 31 July 2014

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Award joy for Maryport fire volunteer Chris

A Maryport man has won the volunteer of the year title at the Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service’s annual awards.

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TOP VOLUNTEER: Chris Ellis, 20, of Maryport, with his volunteer of the year trophy from this year’s Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service Together Towards Success Awards

Chris Ellis, 20, of Sandy Lonning, has volunteered for nearly two years since completing a Prince’s Trust course in the fire service.

He went with mum Allison to pick up his trophy at the Together Towards Success Awards, held at Armathwaite Hall Hotel at Bassenthwaite, funded by Nuclear Management Partners.

He said: “It hasn’t sunk in. I was very proud. Every single one of my family were proud.”

Chris, who attended Netherhall School, carries out duties including home safety visits and youth engagement activities to promote fire safety and reduce anti-social behaviour.

He is part of the FireFit team which works around the county aiming to boost young people’s aspirations, confidence and health.

He goes around various schools with a mobile climbing wall and football cage engaging with pupils.

He said: “I am still young myself. When I am talking to them they will understand where I am coming from.

“When it’s someone a lot older they are not going to really connect with them.”

The judges at the awards ceremony said Chris had excelled in his mentoring of young people and had grown in confidence and stature since joining the service.

Valerie Ayre, community safety manager, who nominated Chris, said: “It’s fabulous. I am really pleased for Chris. He is a delight to work with.

“He doesn’t moan about things, he just gets on with it.”

Chris added that he hopes the award will help him in his search for full-time employment as a youth worker.

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