A FORMER firefighter and dedicated volunteer has planned a series of fund-raising events in Worcester to support The Fire Fighters Charity – after it helped both himself and his wife on separate occasions – and relief work in Ukraine.
Dave Smith, 66, was a wholetime firefighter for 30 years with Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, before retiring in 2008. He’s volunteered for the charity throughout much of that time in different roles, having seen how it helps personnel like himself across the UK.
The Fire Fighters Charity offers health and wellbeing support to the whole of the UK fire services community, as well as spouses, partners and dependants. And that support lasts a lifetime.
Dave and his wife, Wendy, were offered a recuperation stay at Harcombe House, the charity’s residential centre in Devon, in the late Eighties, after his wife underwent a series of operations.
He later attended Jubilee House, the charity’s centre in Cumbria, on two occasions more recently after being involved in a car accident that left him with injuries to his shoulder, wrist and leg.
“The charity’s support was totally first class. The staff and facilities were amazing and I would recommend anyone needing support to get in touch,” he said.
As a way of thanking the charity, Dave is planning to complete the Pyrenees Freedom Trail in France and Spain – trekking for up to eight hours a day for six days, with a maximum height of 2,382 metres – in September and hopes to raise more than £3,000 beforehand.
He’s now planning to hold a bucket collection on Saturday (May 21) at Crowngate Shopping Centre from 9.30am to 4pm, with fire service personnel helping alongside him to answer questions and offer fire safety information to members of the public.
The funds raised will be split between the charity and Ukraine relief.
He’ll then be planning several more collections in the coming months, as well as a wing walk and car washes on stations, all to raise vital funds for the charity that’s so close to his heart.
“I’ve been a volunteer for The Fire Fighters Charity since 1979, in a number of roles, and it has always been a privilege to offer my support.
“Witnessing the amazing work the charity undertakes to support fire service personnel when in need, locally and nationally, makes it particularly rewarding,” he said.
“The charity’s support and help is there until you go to the grave.
“Then it doesn’t end at death, it’s there for your dependants too. The message is, the charity is there to support you, if we don’t use it we’ll lose it.”
Members of the fire services community in need of support with their health and well-being can call the Fire Fighters Charity’s Support Line on 0800 3898820 or visit the website at www.firefighterscharity.org.uk/support