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Gatwick Airport firefighters raise over £2,300 running runway marathon

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A group of firefighters from Gatwick Airport Fire and Rescue Service have raised more than £2,300 for local NHS charity SASH, by completing a relay marathon run on the airport’s main runway.

Thirteen members of White Watch took turns to run 13 lengths of the 3.3-kilometre runway on Sunday morning, along with Rebecca Howells, a nurse from Redhill’s East Surrey Hospital, who completed the run in full uniform.

The initiative was first raised by Firefighter James Buckman, who wanted a novel way to support SASH – the charity for East Surrey Hospital, and all the services provided by Surrey & Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust. SASH was chosen by staff at Gatwick as the airport’s new charity partner earlier this year.

Station Manager, Steven Bartlett, who supported James in making the run happen, said:

“We decided running a relay marathon on the main runway would be something a bit different and, with many flights resuming this week, not something we are likely to get the chance to do again.

“The support has been fantastic and we are really grateful to all at Gatwick who have contributed in some way to making this event possible, and of course to all those who have donated.”

Rebecca Howells said:

“I was so excited to hear about Gatwick staff voting to support our hospitals as the airport’s new charity partner, and this run was a really unique opportunity. It was great to be able to help raise some funds and to say thank you to the firefighters and everyone at Gatwick.”

The event also formed part of SASH’s Get Active challenge, in collaboration with Run Series – the organisers of Run Reigate and Run Gatwick events – which asks people to use their allocated daily exercise to help reach a 30,000-mile target, through running, walking, cycling, home workouts or online classes.

Donations are still being welcomed and can be done through White Watch’s Just Giving page. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/whitewatchgatwickfire

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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 

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