The end of a programme which helps young people turn their lives around has left a void that desperately needs to be filled, town leaders have said. 

Dereham's mayor, Hugh King, and deputy mayor, Linda Monument, said there urgently needs to be a replacement for the Prince's Trust Youth Development Programme - known as Team - which ended after 21 years last month.

Mr King and Mrs Monumnet said in a joint statement: “For many years the fire service in Dereham has run training sessions under the Prince’s Trust scheme which have given teams of disadvantaged young people a chance to learn new skills and gain self-confidence and in many cases, to move from being unemployed into paid work through volunteering with the Prince’s Trust projects."

The College of West Anglia in King’s Lynn owns the scheme, which was run through the fire service's youth development team in Dereham, King’s Lynn and Norwich.

But the fire service no longer had the money to keep running the programme. 

Dereham Times: Hugh King, mayor of DerehamHugh King, mayor of Dereham (Image: Royal British Legion)

The programme included activities and experiences including a team-building residential trip and activities with firefighters, and finished with a qualification in employment, teamwork and community skills and a certificate in emergency first aid at work.

Mr King and Mrs Monument said they were hopeful another organisation or business could step in to take over the programme.

They said: “We are keen to find a new way to keep this brilliant training scheme running in our area.

"For young people who are struggling to find their place in the world, the Prince’s Trust is more than just something to do for a few weeks, it’s a game-changer; for some, it’s a lifesaver,

"Are there any companies or organisations out there who can help? We need to act fast, there are more disadvantaged young people in Norfolk who need it.”

A spokesperson for the College of West Anglia added: “The Prince's Trust Team programme has been an important part of our work to support disadvantaged young people to gain confidence and learn new skills to enable them to find suitable employment or re-engage with further education.

"We have had a very productive partnership with Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service for the past 21 years and were very disappointed to learn of their decision to withdraw from running the programme. We are, however, committed to re-starting the Team programme as soon as possible and are currently exploring this with a number of interested parties.”

Dereham Times: A few of Team 191 based in Dereham, in the Prince's Trust Youth Development programme getting together on a day out as the programme comes to an endA few of Team 191 based in Dereham, in the Prince's Trust Youth Development programme getting together on a day out as the programme comes to an end (Image: Denise Bradley)

 If you can help, you can contact the town council at

Dereham Times: Deputy mayor at Dereham Town Council, Linda MonumentDeputy mayor at Dereham Town Council, Linda Monument (Image: Breckland Council)