Sheffield firefighters set out on near marathon distance walk in 15kg of gear for children’s hospital

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“Lots of our firefighters are parents - we want to raise funds for charities that mean something to us.”

In celebration of their 50th anniversary, South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue has kicked off a year-long fundraising campaign for The Children’s Hospital Charity with a very unique challenge.

Kitted out in over 15kg of firefighting uniform and breathing apparatus, five firefighters today (May 3) are walking a 22-mile loop around all fire stations in Sheffield with the aim of raising £2,500.

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“We got a bit of a shock once we realised how long it would take us, and just how far it was - but it doesn’t matter if it’s two miles or 22, we’re going to do it,” watch manager Kirsty Wright said.

Five South Yorkshire firefighters are walking a 22-mile loop around all fire stations in Sheffield for The Children's Hospital Charity.Five South Yorkshire firefighters are walking a 22-mile loop around all fire stations in Sheffield for The Children's Hospital Charity.
Five South Yorkshire firefighters are walking a 22-mile loop around all fire stations in Sheffield for The Children's Hospital Charity. | Submitted

“If you live in Sheffield and you’ve got children, at some point, through no fault of your own, you’re going to be visiting Sheffield Children’s. 

“I’ve got two girls and we’ve always been very well looked after there. It’s close to a lot of peoples’ hearts - we’re all very lucky to have it.

“Working as a firefighter opens you up to seeing a lot of things that other people don’t. We are often first on the scene and see a lot of children that then transfer to Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

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“Lots of our firefighters are parents, and we try to focus our charitable events on things that resonate with us and our work. We want to raise funds for charities that mean something to us.”

The Children’s Hospital Charity supports Sheffield Children’s to change lives every day.

The money raised supports specialist treatment from head to toe, by funding life-saving equipment, new facilities, a comfortable environment and vital research, which changes paediatric care for thousands of children from across the world.

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Kirsty is hoping that local communities will get behind the team at SYFR as they walk from Birley to Rivelin Fire Station, and back again. 

The team are hoping to raise £2,500 on their first challenge of the year for The Children's Hospital CharityThe team are hoping to raise £2,500 on their first challenge of the year for The Children's Hospital Charity
The team are hoping to raise £2,500 on their first challenge of the year for The Children's Hospital Charity | Submitted

She added: “We get a lot of support from the public as Firefighters – we always get a wave when we’re out and about - which is amazing. We do get that community engagement, which really helps with our campaign work, and now we can use that momentum to help others.”

SYFR also have a second fundraiser planned at Meadowhall on May 11 where they will be attempting to climb the height of the Yorkshire Three Peaks on a turntable ladder.

Community fundraising officer, Emma Maskrey, said, “We’re so grateful for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue’s support. We're honoured to have such a large public organisation fundraising for us. The different challenges they are taking on this year show an amazing commitment, and their support will make a huge difference to the children and families that visit Sheffield Children’s.”

To donate to SYFR, please visit: tchc.org.uk/syfr-fundraising

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