Fundraising firefighters set for unique marathon challenge

Widnes firefightersA team of firefighters who are determined to give two charities a much needed financial boost have vowed to run a marathon – without leaving the grounds of their fire station.

The White Watch crew at Widnes Fire Station will be wearing their full firefighter kit for the 26-mile challenge on Wednesday 20 May.

A track has been set up outside the station in Lacey Street for the fundraising firefighters to run around whilst adhering to social distancing and a JustGiving page has been created for the charity challenge.

All the proceeds will be shared between The Fire Fighters Charity and the Darby Rimmer MND Foundation.

Watch Manager Andy Clarke said: “The charities rely on donations and fundraising to fund the vital services that they provide.

“The coronavirus pandemic has had a hugely detrimental impact in terms of the level of funding they now have coming in and we are determined to help.

“Through the jobs we have and people we care about in our personal lives, the two charities are close to our hearts.

“We would be looking into entering an event like the London Marathon to raise much needed funds for the charities.

“But with all such events having either been cancelled or postponed due to the need for social distancing to protect the NHS and save lives during the global pandemic, we have decided to hold our own marathon challenge at the fire station.

“We need to complete 248 laps of the 170-metre track that has been set up at the station for a full 26-mile marathon and we are urging people to donate as much money as they can for our fundraising challenge.”

The Fire Fighters Charity has been providing essential respite, recuperation and rehabilitation for sick and injured firefighters and their families for more than 75 years.

It is the UK’s leading provider of services that enhance the quality of life for serving and retired fire service personnel and their families.

The Darby Rimmer MND Foundation was set up to raise awareness of motor neurone disease, fund and assist with research into finding a cure for the condition and raise funds, offer grants and provide information and emotional support for those who have been diagnosed with the disease.

Andy added: “Twenty-six miles is a long way to run in a firefighting uniform but we are determined to complete the challenge to help the two charities during this difficult time for everyone.

“We will be running the distance non-stop between us.”

As well as Andy, the White Watch crew includes firefighters Alan Rimmer and Mike Dutton.

Crew Manager Graham Maher will also be taking part in the fundraiser, which has been organised as part of The Fire Fighters Charity’s Fire Family Challenge initiative and is set to start at 10am on Wednesday 20 May.

Anyone willing to make a donation towards the charity challenge should go online at JustGiving for more details.

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Widnes firefighters