Bury St Edmunds firefighter and former professional boxer David Starie has been appointed as fire liaison officer at West Suffolk College.
He is working with the School of Participation, providing a positive role model from a uniformed professional background.
Firefighter Starie has worked for the Fire Service for 15 years, eight of them in Bury St Edmunds.
“When this job came up at West Suffolk College, I absolutely jumped at it.
“Hopefully I am having a good influence on the students and perhaps helping to point them in the correct direction in life.
“I have got a lot of experience with sport in general, so we have tried to incorporate that.
“There is a huge amount of discipline required for boxing as there is in any professional sport.
“I have already had one successful career, which I retired from at the age of 29, and I have had to start again from the beginning.
“That shows the young people that it is not ever too late to wipe the slate clean and start again in a completely new direction, which is what I had to do after the boxing.
“Also, the fact that I come into College in uniform on most occasions, helps to break down barriers. They may associate someone in uniform with a negative in their life; I can show them it doesn’t have to be like that.
“I want to let them know that people in uniform – fire, police, paramedics –are there to help them, and that we care about these young people.”
Sherry Fry, Head of School of Participation said: “Already, David is doing some fantastic work. He has organised a number of activities both in College and at the Fire Station.
“We have allocated a number of young men who need a positive male role model to work with David. In addition he will be setting up a session for participants on our Parents with Potential course on an exercise to identify fire safety risks within the home.”