Community Fire Safety Officer Barbara Russell

The role is varied and no two days are the same. I meet so many interesting people, many of whom are very lonely and isolated – I may be the only person they have seen all day. You get the feeling you have made a difference, especially if you are able to get them some help.”

Barbara, who has been in the role for 10 years, works as part of the SaferPeterborough Partnership team and is also involved in delivering a highly-skilled programme for convicted arsonists. Changing communities brings many new challenges and Barbara has been involved in projects including, Connecting Families and the volunteer Community Champion scheme.

Barbara comments: “The focus is supporting vulnerable people in their homes. The starting point is a home fire safety check and in a lot of cases that intervention will be enough. However, more often than not the resident would benefit from accessing other services they were unaware existed or had tried and been unsuccessful. In some cases people need more than one visit, for example hoarders, who need gentle encouragement and progress is slow.”

"It’s a great place to work where there is never a dull moment. I work with a great bunch of people and I believe that as a team we are able to make a real difference.”