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Firefighter who fled war-torn country calls for others to join fire services

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Credit: Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service

A firefighter who left his country after it was devastated by war is encouraging other immigrants to follow in his footsteps and enter into a career with the fire service.

Bahri Mustafa has been a loved member of the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service for 17 years.

The 40-year old fled Albania 20 years ago after war broke out and settled in Gateshead.

He spent 15 years serving his community in Gateshead before moving across the River Tyne where he is now stationed at West Denton Community Fire Station.

Soon after his arrival, Baz, as he is affectionately known by friends colleagues, fulfilled his childhood dream becoming a firefighter in 2005.

He was inspired to enter into the career after his father had to go to hospital suffering with severe burns when Mustafa was only young.

The father-of-two is calling on other immigrants who have settled in the UK to consider becoming a firefighter.

Mustafa said: “It was incredibly difficult to leave my home country once the war broke out, but I knew that I needed to in order to stay safe. It was scary and isolating when I first arrived in the UK but I found my place at TWFRS.

“My friend told me I should apply because I had all the qualities to make a good firefighter, I’m fit and passionate about safety and helping people and I knew it would be a good fit for me.

“So I applied and got through, the training was tough but I expected nothing less because it helps you realise every time you put on your fire kit the responsibility on your shoulders.

“I mean its 17 years later and if I could go back and do it all again I definitely would, I love this job my children are so proud of the work I do.”

Mustafa believes one of the most important skills as a firefighter is compassion and being able to be there for people at some of their lowest moments.

He said: “You have to really put yourself in people’s shoes in this job, you often turn up to a job and people are at their worst so you’ve got to think fast and change the way you speak.

“Interacting with the public is a huge part of what we do and you never know what’s going on in someone’s life so compassion is so important.”

On Tuesday one of TWFRS’s highest ranking firefighters thanked him for his service as well as encouraging others to join him.

Assistant Chief Officer, Lynsey McVay, said: “Its people like Baz who make our service so fantastic, they are so passionate about their roles and keeping people safe that it can be infectious.

“It doesn’t matter where you come from, it matters who you are and why you want to help people, that’s what we are interested in.

“We are continuing with one of the biggest recruitment drives we have ever had and want to encourage others to consider a career with us.

“Regardless of your age, gender, race, religion or sexuality, there is a home for you here in Tyne and Wear so get on our website and apply to become part of the team.”

 

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Saudi Arabia wants its investors to own Manchester United

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North East Updates - Breaking News

Sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal revealed the country’s latest sporting ambitions in an interview with Sky News – with the sovereign wealth fund already owning Newcastle and now funding a breakaway golf series.

 

Sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal revealed the country’s latest sporting ambitions in an interview with Sky News – with the sovereign wealth fund already owning Newcastle and now funding a breakaway golf series.

 

It follows the Manchester United board announcing that they are open to a sale of the club.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisalstated he would be keen on Ronaldo signing for a Saudi Pro League after the World Cup, with the 37-year-old a free agent following a controversial interview and exit to Manchester United earlier this week..

 

“Who wouldn’t want him to play in their league?” “He’s a role model to a lot of young players – him and Messi.”

 

Sky news are reporting – It is the availability of United – after the Glazers announced plans for a potential sale – and Ronaldo that is interesting Prince Abdulaziz.

 

What are your thoughts on this – join the conversation on our Facebook page.

 

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Entertainment

Sunday for Sammy Concert Cancelled For 2023 Due To Cost of Living

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A popular charity concert will not be held in 2023 due to the cost of living crisis.

Sunday for Sammy, which is held in memory of North East actor Sammy Johnson, is a biennial event aimed at benefitting young performers.

The long-running event has featured the likes of Joe McElderry, Johnny Vegas, Brenda Blethyn, Denise Welch, AC/DC’s Brian Johnson and Mark Knopfler, Jill Halfpenny and Ant and Dec.

Tim Healy, who hosts Sunday for Sammy, said: “We’ve had lots of enquiries over the recent months asking when the next Sunday for Sammy will take place.

“We are very much aware at the moment that people are struggling with day-to-day living costs and are watching their pennies. Everything is becoming more and more expensive and that includes the cost of putting on a show the size of ours.”

He added: “We can’t in good conscious put on a show that we aren’t sure people can afford to be tickets for. It would be wrong to risk your money you have generously given us.

“So sadly we have decided that there won’t be a show in 2023. We’re going to wait until the time is right.”

Often dubbed The Geordie Command Performance, the shows, which have been running for more than 20 years, are held in memory of Geordie actor Sammy Johnson, who died in 1999.

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STACK Newcastle Bosses Scrap Plans For Christmas Pop-Up Venue

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The owners of STACK have confirmed that there won’t be a pop-up version in Newcastle this Christmas, as plans have been shelved.

At the end of September it was reported that STACK’s owner, Danieli Group, were hoping to bring the brand back to the heart of Newcastle after its Pilgrim Street site was demolished earlier this year, after becoming a firm favourite with locals and visitors since 2018. The pop-up, close to the Crowne Plaza hotel in the Stephenson Quarter, looked set to be a massive draw before STACK makes its permanent return to the city next year, was planned to feature a number of shipping container bars, a new take on its famous Hadrian’s Tipi, street food vans, a stage and large screen, all on one level.

But, it has now been announced that the proposed STACK festive pop-up won’t be happening anymore. Confirming the decision, Neill Winch, CEO of Danieli Group said that while it was sad news that the pop-up would no longer take place, it meant the company can forge ahead with the Worswick Chambers plan.

He commented: “We know how much people miss not having a STACK in Newcastle so we are concentrating our efforts on creating what will become a flagship site back where STACK first began,” he said.

“Work is well underway on the scheme with a view to being open in winter 2023.”

In recent weeks it has announced new developments in Lincoln, Durham, Bishop Auckland and Carlisle.

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