Brixton Fire Station’s Mat is hooked on learning thanks to the FBU

Mathew Rosendale has been bitten by the learning bug and has racking up a huge number of qualifications over recent years thanks to a suite of Level 2 courses being offered by the Fire Brigades Union.

Mat catches the learning bug through FBU Education

Mat is Watch Commander at one of Europe’s busiest fire stations in Brixton, South London. Mat has so far achieved eight certificates and has just enrolled on his ninth course.

For Mat this all started in 2015 when he signed up as Blue Badge Champion to promote mental health awareness at his station. Whilst doing this he became aware of the FBU learning offer around distance and online learning courses. These courses are accredited through NCFE and usually can be completed in 16 weeks.

Mat explained:

I’ve done nothing leaving school in terms of qualifications and learning beyond internal courses that I needed for work. But the FBU has a great team of Union Learning Reps and they persuaded me to sign up for the Level 2 in Mental Health Awareness.”

Once Mat had signed up for one he was hooked.

Mat said:

I was really glad I’d done one. Theses was great support from the tutors and found it very fulfilling to gain a qualification, so I followed the mental health courses with the Dementia Awareness course.”

Mat completed then two courses in 2016, another two in 2017 and this year has completed three including certificate courses around Dyslexia and Autism.

Mat felt that the courses really opened his eyes to different conditions and help him support members. Though he first signed up to support his role as a Blue Light Champion and increase his understanding of the issues Mat has since become a Union Learning Rep with the FBU.

Mat said:

Studying these courses inspired me to become a ULR – and to be a union learning rep you need to be able to walk the walk. I attended the FBU’s ULR training in Chester, which was a fantastic experience and gave me a chance to talk to fellow ULR’s from across the country and share experiences and ideas.”

As well has helping him as a rep Mat is well aware that he will soon be retiring from the service next year and the qualifications are very useful in building up his CV and help in future work.

Mat would encourage all FBU members who have yet to try one of the Level 2 courses, though if he is anything to go by that will just be the start.