North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has donated a massive £56,000 to The Fire Fighters Charity following its annual bonfire and firework display – the most raised at any fire and rescue service bonfire night event.
Retired Watch Manager, Bruce Reid has organised the Rawcliffe Country Park event every year since 2013 with the help of his colleagues, York firefighter Terence Gregg and Watch Manager Peter Barrett – and around 10,000 people attended this year, the highest number in the event’s history.
Speaking about the amount raised, Bruce said: “We were blown away by the number of people who attended. With the previous year being cancelled due to Covid-19, we were unsure how popular the event would be, but it surpassed all our expectations. Our thanks go to the people of York and the surrounding area for their support. We are truly grateful, as without them, it would not have been possible.
“I’ve been involved with the Charity for many years and it is an organisation very close to my heart. I am absolutely thrilled that we are able to support them in this way. I would also like to thank Terence and Peter, as their help and support is invaluable to ensure the event can go ahead.”
North Yorkshire’s Police Fire and Crime Commissioner, Zoë Metcalfe, presented a cheque to the Charity’s Chief Executive, Dr Jill Tolfrey, at a ceremony held at North Yorkshire FRS’ headquarters recently.
Dr Jill Tolfrey, said: “Thank you to Bruce, Peter and Terence for their organisation, and all volunteers who helped make this such a fantastic event, as well as all those who attended and supported our Charity.
“To see so many people come together in support of the UK’s fire services shows just how much the work they do is appreciated, and to raise such a huge amount in the process is really incredible. It was a real pleasure to be able to receive the cheque from Zoe Metcalfe, North Yorkshire’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, on behalf of North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service at the Annual Award Ceremony.
“These funds will go directly towards supporting thousands of fire service personnel and their spouses, partners and dependants every year, for years to come, ensuring we can continue to be there for them when they need us most. On behalf of everyone at The Fire Fighters Charity, a huge thank you to all involved.”
While Commissioner Zoë Metcalfe added: “Thank you to everyone involved in raising such a substantial amount of money for The Fire Fighters Charity. Our fire and rescue service play a major role in keeping communities safe and this donation will contribute to continued availability of specialist lifelong health and wellbeing support that is beneficial for North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue personnel.”
Jon Foster, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer, said: “We’re delighted to be in a position to present this amount of money to The Fire Fighters Charity – an organisation that is invaluable in supporting the fire sector, therefore very close to our hearts. A special thanks go to Bruce, Terence and Peter for all their hard work in organising this event, and all in their own time.
“This is now an annual event providing a great opportunity for the public to enjoy bonfire night and a fantastic professional firework display in a safe environment, but above all raising vital funds for the Charity.”
Members of the fire services community in need of support with their health and wellbeing can call The Fire Fighters Charity’s Support Line on 0800 3898820 or visit www.firefighterscharity.org.uk/support.
Thanks go to local businesses for their fantastic support that played a huge part in ensuring the event could go ahead and be the great success that it was. These include N Jagger Demolition for donating the firewood and for giving up their own time to help. The company also provided hardcore to make the field more accessible and many tonnes of topsoil to make the field right again. Barton’s fish and chip shop in Acomb who donated raffle prizes and sold £530 of raffle tickets. To Travis Perkins and Jewsons who also supplied firewood and raffle prizes, to Magnet Trade who also provided raffle prizes, Barclay’s Bank and York Rescue Boat for marshalling volunteers, and to the Sidings Hotel and Elvington Plant Hire.