Release date: 15 September 2020
Firefighters from Burgess Hill have pedalled their way from one end of the country to the other – and raised more than £6,000 for two causes close to their hearts along the way.
The team of four arrived into John O’Groats – the most northerly point of the British mainland - on Monday evening, having set off from Land’s End in Cornwall on Saturday 5 September.
Burgess Hill Watch Manager Shaun Challis and firefighter Scott Cairncross managed to complete the full 1050 miles, with support from firefighter Matt Firmager and firefighter Martin Belford who shared the driving of the support van and cycled half of the distance each. The challenge saw them take in 60,000ft in elevation over the course of the ten days.
The team of four embarked upon the charity challenge to raise money for Kids Cancer Charity and The Fire Fighters Charity.
Shaun said: “I can’t tell you how incredible it felt to finally see that fingerpost at the finish line in John O’Groats on Monday. After ten days on the road, we were all absolutely exhausted by the end of it.
“But it has been an incredible journey, and the support we have had along the way has been phenomenal. People stopped us to give us donations towards our fundraising, and at one of our overnight stops we even managed to win a tenner during a hotly contested game of pool!
“We set ourselves the ambitious target of £5,000, and we couldn’t believe how quickly the donations were adding up – we are lucky to have received so much support, and watching the total mount up as we progressed up through the country really drove us onwards – even when it was wet and miserable.”
The team celebrated completing their cycle with a dip in the sea at John O'Groats.
Phil Maynard, Station Commander for East Grinstead, Haywards Heath and Hurstpierpoint, is West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service’s champion for The Fire Fighters Charity. Earlier this year he set all stations in West Sussex the ambitious target of raising £1,000 each for the charity. He said: “Each of the stations have found clever ways of pushing themselves to the limit to help raise money for this incredibly important cause, but I think Burgess Hill’s Land’s End to John O’Groats (LEJOG) cycle is going to take some beating. They have all worked exceptionally hard to pull this one off, and I know I speak for the whole of service when I say just how proud we are of everything they have achieved over the past ten days.”
You can still support their fundraising efforts here: https://www.justgiving.com/team/Burgesshillfire