Jo’s Blog Salamander Day 5

Friday, where has this week gone? I love this week so much and now it’s Friday and I won’t be seeing smiling faces and having hugs. It all goes by so fast. One minute we are getting them into kit on Monday and then we are saying goodbye to new friends and amazing young people. What a week it has been!

Now with glass in hand, I raise it to all the 17 young people who have put their heart and soul into this week and achieved so much. It’s not easy running around in that kit on a hot day. But I am sure you can see how wonderful they are and how well they did.

I don’t think I have to say that we start the day with the usual breakfast, but it’s going to be missed and you parents have a lot to live up to in the morning. You will need to cook the eggs, bacon and sausages plus the toast and beans!! Cereal is just not going to cut it now.

Once we are cleaned up it’s back to the classroom for a rundown of where everyone is going to be. A few changes from yesterday so we have the correct people in the correct place. Before we can go out and start on practising we have to wish someone a happy birthday. Yes it’s Mark’s birthday at the weekend so the guys handed him a little gift from all of us and sang happy birthday. So now we have made Mark blush we can go out and run through the show to make sure it’s all perfect for this afternoon.

Outside the cars are ready in place to cut up. We can’t do this until later so we are just pretending at this point. Then it’s time to screech around the yard in Fire engines, Ambulances, and Police cars oh I love this week so much, I just never get bored of seeing the excitement. I know you will have all enjoyed the show as much as I have because they love showing you what they have achieved. They all work so hard to get to correct, and I must say it pays off. I am sure there were a couple of unplanned bits because that’s what happens on a live show.

Each year we have a fantastic set of helpers and crew to ensure the young people get the best out of the week. So, I thank them from the bottom of my heart as this week wouldn’t work without you.

Abi – Thank you for the continued support on this course, you are loved by the young people and support me wherever I need it. Nothing is too much trouble. We love having you with us each year.

Phil – Always so kind hearted and gentle with our young people and of course the master of the selfie. You are respected by your team and your support means the world to us.

Shannon – You deserve a medal! You have been fantastic this week. Never fazed with whatever is thrown at you just taking it all in your stride. Your help has been fantastic dealing with difficult situations but still calm and strong. Thank you, Shannon, I couldn’t have coped without you.

Simon – You have listened to what the young people say and helped where you can, guiding them into doing the correct thing. You always encourage the them to be independent but you are there if they need it. Your support has been great. (Yes, Simon the bottle is in hand!) So, thank you for your support this week.

Pav – So good to see you back. Your team took to you the minute you were teamed up with them. You are great with the young people. Kind and caring and ensuring all achieve to their full ability. Your team had great respect for you and you help them achieve things that they may not have done without that little bit of encouragement.

Kevin – I know you weren’t there today and we missed you. But you are the most patient person I have come across. You have been there watching out for Luke all week, never too close but always knowing where he is. The team respect you and you have helped them and encouraged them where needed.

Lukas – Thank you for your support this week, you have encouraged your team where needed and been there to support them. You help where needed and step back at the right time. I am going to miss your adventures and the amazing places you have been.

Miles – Nothing is too much trouble and the guys loved you. A great Instructor. You have been great with the team, kind and caring and ensuring all achieve their full ability. Your team had great respect for you and you help them achieve things that they may not have done without that little bit of encouragement.

Martin – They love you and you were a hit the minute you came into the classroom. They loved your sense of humour and the team always worked well for you. Your ability to keep them on track is great. Hope to see you again on our next course.

Nathan – You kept us safe at Coate Water and the young people took to you as soon as you joined us. Thank you for your support as your calming influence worked well with our young people. They respected you from the start.

Dan – Thanks for putting up with the banter from a few of the young people, they really did love you. Nothing is too much trouble and he gained some new mates this week.

Steve – Salamander wouldn’t be the same if you weren’t there. You are so good with the young people and they respect you so much. In fact the whole group respects you. You are encouraging and kind but you ensure each person develops the skills they are there to learn. You always make every team member achieve all they can. You’re the best.

Nev – What can I say? Apart from I love you to bits. You have helped me all week through tough moments and made me laugh. You are an incredibly patient man and you make sure everyone has achieved what they are supposed to before we move on. You have a way of making sure they understand everything they do. Thanks Nev, you are a fantastic person.

Fraser – You are our incredible camera man. Always there for the perfect shot, but helping out ensuring our young people are ok and doing the correct thing. Everyone on the courses loves you and respects you. Having seen some of the shots and knowing how your mind works, I can’t wait to see the DVD’s this year.

Mark – Your team were delighted this year when they found out you were taking them. You have pushed them to new limits and expanded on what they can do. Your vision on what the young people can achieve is just brilliant. You know how far to push them and they know you have faith in them and that means the world to us. Your help and reassurance is what makes this course so special. Mark you are an incredible person that makes this course the best in the country.

Nicky – The kindest and most caring person I have ever met. My friend who picks me up when I doubt myself. Someone who is always there for me and others. You may not get to see all the Nicky does as most of it is behind the scenes. But Nicky is a huge part of our Salamander. From cooking the breakfast, preparing dinner to tidying the garages, putting the names on the pegs, laminating, paperwork and the list goes on…… oh and keeping the fire fighters in line!! While she is doing all this, she is still caring for each and every young person. Tonight, I raise my glass to an incredible lady. My friend Nicky.

Now I say goodnight to you all as I say a final thank you. Thank you to everyone for letting me be part of your young person’s life for one week. I hope they have enjoyed it as much as I have. They really do inspire me. I have enjoyed every moment of this week and I can’t believe it’s over for another year.