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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

Crawley’s first ever ‘Free Supermarket’ opens in Three Bridges to support community

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On Sunday (8th November} Crawley’s first ever ‘free supermarket’ opened its doors to the local community.

The Free Shop Crawley is a store run by volunteers with the sole purpose of providing locals with food, toiletries and baby essentials without any associated cost.

Inspired by Marcus Rashford and his campaign to have school meals funded year-round, the stores inception came about when four local women shared a common desire to create a safe place for people in need to come and receive help without fear or shame.

Laura-Jane Wainwright, one of the founders of Free Shop Crawley said:

“Having used food banks in the past, I know first-hand how degrading it can feel.  We wanted to create a dignified space where anyone in need could come and access essentials in a friendly and inclusive environment. The thought of children going to bed hungry and adults losing sleep over financial anxiety broke our hearts and we knew we had to use our skills and resources to help”

Shoppers are encouraged to take up to 10 items from the shop each visit giving them a full basket of daily necessities. Anyone is eligible to visit the store and although there is a ticketing system in place the team are ready to welcome anyone who is in need.

The shop offers a fresh produce section, toiletries and sanitary care, tinned and dried goods, nappies and formula and even children’s clothing and toys.

In week one alone, over 100 people have been fed by the shops offering, showing just how big a need there is for support in not just this area but country wide.

Local businesses have been quick to support the store donating essentials by the van load, even down to kitting out the shop with shelving, tables and hanging racks. Companies including Asda, Co-op and Tilgate Bakery have committed to donate to the store each week.

Free Shop Crawley can be found at CJ’s café, Kingsland Court, Three Bridges, Crawley, RH10 1HL, on Sundays from 2pm-4pm.

Anyone wishing to donate or find out more can visit the Free Shop Crawley Facebook page www.facebook.com/freeshopcrawley  or contact the team direct on freeshopcrawley@gmail.com

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