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Crawley firefighters undertake marathon walk in memory of fallen colleague

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Some of the team from Crawley Fire Station with the training mannequins.

Firefighters from Crawley Fire Station are preparing to make their way to the seaside on foot in memory of a much-loved former colleague.

But the 20 firefighters won’t be completing the walk to Brighton seafront on their own, as they will be carrying a few training dummies with them, weighing in at around 30kg.

They will be raising money for The Fire Fighters Charity and The Stroke Association in memory of former Watch Manager Simon Constable who passed away in April 2019 having suffered a stroke. Simon served with WSFRS for 29 years.

The crew have been busy training for the 30 mile walk, which they will complete on Saturday 8 August, and are hoping to smash their fundraising target along the way.

Green Watch Manager Neil Fairhall said:

“With it almost being the summer holidays, we thought what better way to raise some money for two fantastic causes than a jolly down to the seaside? Though I imagine after a couple of miles in carrying those training dummies, the walk will be anything but jolly.

“But the whole point of this fundraiser is to push ourselves, and hopefully raise a decent amount of money for The Fire Fighters Charity and The Stroke Association.

“Both charities mean a lot to us at Crawley Fire Station – The Fire Fighters Charity provides a real lifeline for serving and former firefighters in their hour of need, and The Stroke Association does some fantastic work to support those affected by stroke. Having lost Simon last year, this is extremely poignant for us as a watch and station, and we hope to raise a worthy amount in his memory.”

The challenge comes after all fire stations within West Sussex were challenged by Station Manager Phil Maynard to come up with innovative ways of raising money for The Fire Fighters Charity, which supports serving and former firefighters as well as their families in times of need.

Phil has set the county’s 25 fire station’s the ambitious target of raising £25,000 by the end of the year for the charity. Already, the East Grinstead crew have managed to raise £1,670 for the charity after climbing the equivalent of Mount Everest in the station yard.

To support the Crawley crew in their fundraising efforts visit: https://www.justgiving.com/team/Crawleyfirestation?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=team&utm_content=Crawleyfirestation&utm_campaign=pfp-tweet&utm_term=d18daf1ece7847a8b62aaeec665ad509 

Charity

Three Bridges, Crawley Tesco store gives a helping hand to veterans in need

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Lee Matthews, former Queens Royal Irish Hussar.

British armed forces veterans who face hardship and distress have benefited from a military annual fundraiser, with a little help from a Tesco Crawley store.

Former members of the Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars met up at the 4th Worth Scouts Hut in Crawley to reminisce about past events and enjoy their yearly BBQ.

They also had a range of fundraising events on the day, raising £537, with all proceeds going to The Veterans’ Charity.

Throughout the pandemic, the charity has continued to deliver vital support to veterans and their families, including food shopping, essential household products and toiletries, utilities credit, clothing, and smartphones to enable continued communication and to prevent isolation.

Many of the items donated to the veterans’ fundraiser came from the Three Bridges Tesco Extra store, whose staff are keen supporters of the Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars’ annual event.

Martin Weathers, a Tesco staff member and fundraiser for The Veterans’ Charity.

Martin Weathers, a Tesco staff member and fundraiser for The Veterans’ Charity, was among those at the event, having served with The Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars.

He said:

“I’m very grateful to Tesco for their generosity. Our annual BBQ was extremely enjoyable and entertaining, and it continues the brotherhood that most people miss after leaving the Forces.

“Leaving service life can be a dreadful time, especially for those who have been in for a long time, and some may have associated physical or psychological problems such as combat post-traumatic stress disorder.

“This is why get-togethers like this are so important, and Tesco’s contribution to helping us raise funds for service-people in need is incredibly important.

“It helps to provide much-needed funds for The Veterans’ Charity, enabling it to supply things such as basic food shopping for our most vulnerable veterans who have fallen on hard times.

“This year has been the busiest ever for The Veterans’ Charity, with more than 540 welfare requests. These are often referrals from other charities, but some have been directly from struggling veterans themselves, and all of them were satisfactorily resolved within 24 hours of the charity being contacted.”

Tesco has a long association with the Armed Forces, dating back to Tesco founder Jack Cohen and is a signatory to the Ministry of Defence’s Armed Forces Covenant. About 300 Tesco employees are members of the supermarket chain’s Armed Forces Network, and the supermarket is one of the largest employers of reservists and former service personnel.

Matt Ayling, manager at the Three Bridges Tesco Extra store, said:

“We’re really pleased to be able to help the Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars. Its members are amazing people and we all have a lot to thank them for, so our store is always keen to assist them if we can.”

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