Firefighters finish gruelling walking challenge

THREE firefighters wore their heavy kit during a tiring walking challenge last week to raise money for a cause close to their hearts.

Mike Rose, Shaun Wells and Jake Mays walked 24 miles – whilst donning their protective gear and yellow helmets – starting from the source of the River Thames just outside Cirencester all the way to the Father Thames (1854) sculpture by Rafaelle Monti in Lechlade on Monday, July 17.

All three form part of the Green Watch team at London Oxford Airport. 

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Mike Rose, Shaun Wells and Jake Mays on their walking challenge with 26 miles to goMike Rose, Shaun Wells and Jake Mays on their walking challenge with 26 miles to go (Image: Jake Mays)

They were raising money for The Fire Fighter Charity – a nationwide fire family charity offers specialist, lifelong support for members of the UK fire services community by offering a range of health and wellbeing services.

Mike served as an on call firefighter for Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service for six years and has been an airport firefighter for 18 years.

Shaun served as an on call firefighter for Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service for 6 years and has been an airport firefighter for four years.

Jake is a serving on call firefighter for Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service and has been an airport firefighter for one year.

They bumped into two ex Swindon fire fighters in Cricklade who filled up the walking team’s water bottles and also made a £30 donation.

The trio reached the finishing point after a hot, tiring but rewarding nine-hour journey.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: At the Father Thames (1854) sculpture finishing point of the walking challenge in LechladeAt the Father Thames (1854) sculpture finishing point of the walking challenge in Lechlade (Image: Jake Mays)

They have raised more than £1,000 so far but are still accepting donations.

Jake said: “We wanted to help out a charity which is close to all of us. 

“They help injured firefighters both mental and physical and their families. 

“We witnessed this halfway through our walk when we met two retired firefighters which one of them was in the process of using the charity due to lung damage from fires he had been in.

“The walk was a lot harder than anticipated but we are all happy we completed it with a few very sore feet afterwards!”

To donate their JustGiving page visit tinyurl.com/bdnu6wft

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