Four decades of fundraising

A group of dedicated on-call firefighters have raised a significant amount of money for a charity that supports their peers.

Each year in December, firefighters at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service’s (TWFRS) Chopwell Community Fire Station go out into the community for their Santa Run.

This sees the firefighter decorate their appliance and dress festively to spread Christmas cheer around Chopwell and the surrounding villages

This has been a festive tradition for over 40 years in the community, and this Christmas it was bigger than ever.

The crews developed a live tracker for Santa this year which meant families would not have to stand outside in the cold for too long to catch a glimpse of the big man.

Each year the crew collect donations for local charities and projects that help local families and benefit Chopwell and the surrounding villages.

This year, the crews raised an incredible two-thousand pounds for various charities with £300 being donated directly to the Fire Fighters Charity.

The Fire Fighters Charity offers specialist, lifelong support for members of the UK fire services community, empowering individuals to live happier and healthier lives.

And today (Friday) Station Manager from TWFRS’s Chopwell Community Fire Station is thanking the community for their overwhelming support this Christmas.

Station Manager Andy Nelson said “It was a fantastic day being able to see the smiling faces of so many people in our community during this year’s Santa Run.

“The introduction of the Santa tracker was clearly a hit because more people turned out than ever before and this is the most money we’ve raised for such incredible causes ever.

“The crew have been doing this for such a long time that generations of families now get involved with the event.

“You see grandparents out with their children and grandchildren, many from outside the local area who attend each year because it’s such a special memory.

“I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who came this year. To be able to donate £300 to the Fire Fighters Charity, a cause that supports our firefighters up and down the country, is something really special.”

Sylvia Stoneham, Community Fundraiser at The Fire Fighters Charity, said “A huge thank you to all those who helped organise and took part in this festive fundraiser.
“Seeing the community come together, while supporting us, was fantastic.

“These vital funds will go directly towards helping members of our fire services community across Tyne and Wear and the wider UK, empowering them to live healthier and happier.
“Once again, thank you and congratulations on such a successful and enjoyable event.”

The remaining £1,700 raised by firefighters will be split amongst charities that support local families and projects that benefit the Chopwell area.

You can find more information about the Fire Fighters Charity on their website.