Firefighters saddle up for charity bike ride

A Yate youngster has spurred two firefighters to get on their bikes for a 103-mile charity cycle ride next month.

Firefighters Jan Morris and Di Clack will set out on the Devon Coast to Coast cycle route from Ilfracombe to Plymouth on Sunday 8 August.

The duo will be raising funds for the British Heart Foundation and The Fire Fighters Charity.

Jan, who was previously a firefighter at Yate and is now Station Manager of Thornbury Fire Station, has taken part in previous fundraising activities for the British Heart Foundation (BHF).  For this challenge she enlisted the help of friend Di, a firefighter from Red Watch Yate. 

Di, who is no stranger to charity fundraising challenges, jumped at the chance to help her friend.

Jan became aware of the work of the BHF after her niece was diagnosed with Right Heart Syndrome, a condition which meant a significant part of her heart was missing at birth.

Jan’s niece, five-year old Rebecca Williams from Yate, has endured three open heart surgeries since she was born, including one when she was just one week old. At one stage her parents were told it was touch and go whether she would survive.  Due to the nature of her condition Rebecca will need a heart transplant when she is older.

Jan said: “If it wasn’t for the research work of the BHF over the past decade, children like Rebecca just would not survive, and my family cannot imagine life without her, she’s such a happy child. 

“Heart disease is unfortunately something that has or will affect a lot of people, either directly or indirectly, so the work of the charity is invaluable to all.

“Di and I also chose to support The Fire Fighters Charity as we believe that the facilities available to all members of the fire and rescue service and their families are second to none, and we hope they can continue to provide these long into the future. 

“Training has been a bit sporadic but we are up for the challenge and looking forward to it!”