Shropshire fire crews have collected a staggering £40,484 in a series of charity events over the past year smashing their fundraising target four fold.
Their efforts have helped the Fire Fighters Charity support 34 local beneficiaries, said charity service co-ordinator Ashley Brown.
In recognition of their efforts, a certificate of appreciation was presented to Ashley by Chief Fire Officer Rod Hammerton at Shrewsbury fire HQ on behalf of the Fire Fighters Charity.
“Each fire and rescue service across the UK was given a fund raising target for the year and ours was £9,600. So we certainly smashed that one," said Ashley.
“I want to give a massive thank you to everyone who has donated and put in so much effort to collect so much. All 23 of Shropshire’s fire stations have worked really hard to collect this money.”
The Chief Fire Officer added: “We may be one of the smallest fire and rescue services in the country but we always punch above our weight. This is a great achievement to raise such a huge sum.”
Off duty firefighters and support staff launched numerous car washes, donated old clothes to textile recycling centres set up at fire stations and ran their own fundraisers.
A total of 19 car washes raised more than £3,000, textile banks at 17 fire stations amassed 28,430kgs of textile for recycling leading to a £6,254 profit while “shop in a box” merchandise sold at county fetes collected £1,000. Individuals raised more with marathons, collections at county fetes and other charity events.
Textile banks were “a great success,” said Ashley who praised Newport Fire Station for being the top recyclers from throughout the county’s 23 fire stations.
Bridgnorth Fire Station were the overall champion charity raisers for the year with £3,867.47 and winners of the Dave Bishton Challenge Shield for 2015-16, an award donated by a former firefighter to the Shropshire fire station raising the most money for charity.
Other top fire stations collected : £2,324.26 (Church Stretton); £1,249.20 (Wellington); £1,192.16 (Shrewsbury fire HQ); £1,150 (Clun). The remaining money raised was from individual donations.
The Fire Fighters Charity gives respite, recuperation and rehabilitation to sick or injured firefighters, including those who are retired, and their families.
The charity needs more than £8 million to run national centres around the country. Set up in 1943 to help wounded firefighters and support their families during Word War 2, it is entirely self funding and relies on the goodwill and generosity of donations from members of the public.
The services which the charity offer are open to all serving operational fire fighters, Fire Control, support staff as well as retirees.