Saturday 3 December 2022

RESEARCH ON FIRE by Sharon Tregenza

One of my WIPs 'THE WHISPER WOOD' features a fire-setting child and I was told that publishers would probably be a little twitchy about that. 

I still liked the idea, so I wondered if I could flip that concern around by getting some feedback from the professionals. I contacted Avon Fire and Rescue Service and explained my problem. I got the most enthusiastic and helpful reply.

A meeting was set up at the Bath Fire Station with Rachel Stewart, the Children and Young Person's Advisor, Risk Reduction Avon Fire and Rescue Service.

When I got there not only had Rachel read the whole ms she had printed it out and marked places where she thought she could help. I had a tour of the fire station and came away with lots of invaluable nuggets of information and knowledge.

When she couldn't help with questions about the psychological aspect of fire-setting in children, she sent off an email to CAHMS and this week Dr Andrew Newman, the Consultant Clinical Psychologist Community Forensic CAMHS, had a zoom meeting with me to answer those. That these professional people took the time out of their busy lives to answer my questions was amazing. That they did it with such enthusiasm, was a joy.


Penny Dolan said...

What a wonderful experience, Sharon, not only for the day itself, but also because of all the support and generosity from the people in these services.

Sharon Tregenza said...

It was, Penny. Very helpful and so encouraging.

Andrew Preston said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew Preston said...

It all sounds very worthy, and admirable.
I do, though, well recall the joy of setting fire to gorse on a freezing winter day...
the whoosh of flame, the wave of heat on my cheeks.
In fact, I did this many times, up and around an old railway line.
Me and my friends.
I didn't turn into Andrew the Arsonist, or Freddie the Fire Raiser.

I mean, isn't doing things that your parents, and other adults, would object to an intrinsic part of being a kid. Long before one considers whether something is suitable for this or that educationalist's demographic.