A group of youngsters attended their passing out ceremony last night (Tues) after completing the Phoenix course.

The programme, run by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, taught pupils valuable skills and helped build confidence.

There were 14 in the group, aged between 12 and 15, who took part in the course at Romsey Fire Station.

The pupils were intensively trained for five days to carry out a full fire drill with the concentration and discipline of firefighters.

This was then performed in front of teachers at the schools to show the children what they could achieve when they applied themselves.

This was followed up by day-long workshops in first aid, road safety, fire safety in the home and a day of activity using breathing apparatus.

Children and Young People team leader Gary Sloan said: “The Phoenix course promotes teamwork, planning, communication and self-belief.

“Carrying out a firefighter drill is a complicated and challenging procedure and shows the children that they can achieve anything.

“We will continue to coach and mentor them to help them reach their full potential.”

Firefighters Duncan Foster and Aaron Jepp and volunteer Paul Lock carried out uniform checks and taught hose-running techniques.

The pupils were referred by Winton Community Academy, John Hanson Community School and The Romsey School.

The course was funded by Supporting Families and the ceremony was held at Andover Fire Station.

Polly has almost 20 years in the media industry. As Editor of Andover and Villages, she strives to bring the latest and greatest news with a minutes notice. Polly can be contacted via editor@andoverandvillages.co.uk or alternatively called at