Firefighters reach fundraising target in bid to help Jaye to walk

Firefighters fundraisingStaff from across Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) have raised more than £36,000 to help a young boy from Kingswood.

Over almost seven days (from Monday 5 to Sunday 11 May) 61 members of AF&RS staff clocked up 1,103 miles running continuously on a treadmill in the Cabot Circus shopping centre in Bristol.

Running in fire kit and wearing a breathing apparatus cylinder weighing 15kg, Wholetime firefighters from across the service and Retained Duty System crews from Portishead, Nailsea and Clevedon, raised £36,155.

The money will be used to fund an operation for six-year-old Jaye Cook from Kingswood, who came alongto watch the end of the challenge on Sunday.

Jaye was born 10 weeks prematurely and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of 18 months. In order to walk without support Jaye needs an operation which is not funded on the NHS.

Firefighter Mike Collin, who co-ordinated the challenge, said: “I have never had to organise a charity event on this scale before and to see so many of my colleagues motivated to help was fantastic.Firefighter on treadmill

“Some initially came along to watch and support those on the treadmill but many got caught up in the atmosphere of goodwill that was being created and felt the need to get involved.

“I would like to thank all the staff and businesses at Cabot Circus for their support. During the long dark nights their motivation kept us going.

“I would also like to show my appreciation to everyone who donated money to this event. Members of the public were incredibly generous, with many emptying all the change from their purses and wallets into our buckets.

“To have Jaye and his family present at the end of the challenge made the occasion even more special and I look forward to seeing them again once Jaye has had his operation.”

To sponsor the team visit www.justgiving.com/AFRSjaye2walk