From keeping schoolchildren safe to fighting fires, Dominic Tarulli hasn’t looked back since he started volunteering at SkillZONE.
The 20-year-old has been working at Gloucestershire’s safety education centre since it launched, and in that time he’s helped hundreds of young people and community groups tour the facility.
Now he’s encouraging more community-minded people to volunteer – guiding groups around the centre, which uses realistic settings to teach everything from road safety to hazards in the home.
Dominic said: “Just knowing that you are making children happy and safe is why I do it. I remember when my little cousins came with their school and they really looked up at me for working here.”
“That moment was particularly rewarding, just seeing them smile and learning something important as well.”
While working at SkillZONE, Dominic applied to attend the Fire Service College Firefighter Foundation Development Programme.
He said: “As cliche as it sounds it is a childhood dream to be a firefighter and I wanted to follow it through. I used to go to all the fire service open days and absolutely loved it. This was a great opportunity to get closer to that goal.”
Sponsored by the Fire Service College, Dominic completed the nine-week intense firefighter course in Moreton-in-Marsh, and is now looking for roles.
He added: “I’ve never done anything so hard, but I loved every minute of it and I am proud to have qualified as a firefighter at the end of it.”
SkillZONE needs more volunteer guides to take groups on two-hour tours of the centre scenarios, at which they encourage visitors to identify dangers and come up with ways to avoid risks.
Candidates come from all walks of life and only need to be able to give a minimum of two days a month. Along with on-the-job training, volunteers are offered courses in safeguarding, first aid, health and safety, and equality and diversity. SkillZONE also gives job references and pays for mileage.
Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure, said: “There are many good reasons to volunteer at SkillZONE. For Dominic it was helping him get closer to his dream career, but at the very least it gives people an opportunity to give something back to the community. It doesn’t demand any huge commitment and it’s extremely rewarding work.”
If you are interested in volunteering, visit http://www.skillzonetest.co.uk.co.uk/volunteer or call 01452 834 150.