South Yorkshire firefighters raise almost £70,000 for charity

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Two South Yorkshire firefighters cycled 1,000 miles to provide the FireFighter’s Charity with a new sensory garden. 

Image: The garden to be renovated

Mark Peart, 35, Brompton and Paul Simmonite, 57, joined forces with the Suffolk Fire Service to smash their 50k fundraising target by cycling the length of the UK.

The funds are for a sensory garden at Jubilee House, a rehabilitation centre for fire fighters and their families.

Mr Peart said: “The charity took a huge hit during Covid.

“They have two rehab centres so anyone can go who is suffering from physical or mental illness. The facilities are amazing.”

The renovated garden will provide a space for the charity to carry out training and rehabilitation outdoors.

Dr Jill Tolfrey, the Chief Executive of the Fire Fighter’s Charity said: “Every pound raised will allow us to fund life-enhancing health and wellbeing support for members of the fire services community in need today.”

The organisation focuses on the physical and mental health of Fire Fighters, and the Longest Ride wanted to highlight this.

Every day, each rider shared a message talking about their mental health journey in order to combat stigma around mental health in the emergency services.

Mr Peart said: “‘As firefighters, sometimes you can be put on a pedestal and seen to be these hard people that can endure a lot.

But we have an opportunity to put a message out that everyone has these vulnerabilities as strong as everyone seems, most people are dealing with something.”

Mark Peart, Fire Fighter for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue.

The 10 day ride tested the team of 20 involved. Mr Peart said: “I enjoyed it but everyday was tough”

The support we got was amazing, we knew we were gonna smash our target but we didn’t predict we would get as much as we did.”

The South Yorkshire firefighter raised £2,577, more than double his target.

He said: “it drives you to do more and raise as much as you can”

Work on the sensory garden will begin soon. To find out more about the Fire Fighter’s Charity click here.

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