Firefighters raise more than £9,000 for charity

Firefighters from across Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) have raised more than £9,000 for charity following a mammoth 150-mile walk to visit every fire station in just 62 hours.

The journey, which also included visiting Control in Lansdown, saw the eight firefighters walk continuously with no sleep from the 14th - 16th November.

The task was made even harder with firefighters making the journey in full kit - tunics, leggings, and helmets, with a breathing apparatus set on their backs.

But the journey and minimal rest took its toll on the walkers with many suffering injuries along the way, as well as one trip to a minor injury unit.

However, they managed to visit as many communities as possible, raising more than £9,000 for Children in Need.

That includes a whopping £6,500 that has been donated online and a further £2,500 in cash donations along the route.

Rich Wheeler, firefighter and member of the charity team, said: “We were looking to finish in around 60 hours but the challenge was longer and more painful than anticipated.

“Due to some of the injuries we had to slow the pace a little but it was all worth it though. We knew it was going to be tough but not just how tough.

“Our pain and suffering is insignificant compared to what some children have to go through.

“The support we received was fantastic and really did keep us going. People were pulling over to show their support and give us money.

“The public were incredible and we can’t thank them enough. They really did keep us going and we wouldn’t have done it without them.”

Mark Watson, a fellow firefighter and member of the charity team, added: “We would just like to thank everyone for the overwhelming support and donations we have received so far.

“Our support team also kept us going, driving, motivating, medical assistance and hugs when needed, and our colleagues at each station providing support, generosity and company for some of the walk.

“The members of the public who donated, found us and cheered us on route as well as all the cars that pulled over and gave words of support meant so much. We felt like the whole of Avon was walking with us.

“It took longer, went further and ultimately took more than any of us anticipated.

“There were many times where we doubted ourselves and times we had so much pain we couldn’t think about anything else. A strong team, good support and the drive to succeed is sometimes all it takes.

“The team have been resting their feet since Friday night and are recovering well. This challenge really did push us to our limit.

“Please, please, keep donating if you can. It’s all for a great charity and we would love to make as big a difference as possible.”

To donate, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/afrs150