Release date: 1 August 2019
A pair of entrepreneurial primary school pupils from Billingshurst turned the hottest day of the year so far to their advantage, raising more than £40 for The Fire Fighters Charity in the process.
Five-year-old Jasmine and eight-year-old Oliver Harvey set up a stall outside the family home in the village on Thursday, July 25, selling ice lollies as the summer heatwave took hold.
Inspired by neighbour Andreas Hajiantoni, an on-call firefighter based at the village’s fire station, the siblings decided to donate their takings for the day to The Fire Fighters Charity.
After learning about their venture, Billingshurst Crew Manager Mathew Gravell swung by the stall on Thursday morning to see how they were getting on, and invited them along with mum and dad, Sarah and Alex Harvey, for a tour of their local fire station to try their hand at being a firefighter.
Sarah said the two children had been keen to kick off their summer holidays with something a little bit different. She said: “Jasmine came up with the idea of holding an ice lolly sale, and we planned it for the Thursday. It just so happened that it turned out to be the hottest day of the year. They couldn’t have planned it any better really!
“It was lovely how the community really came out to support them – people we hadn’t even met before came along to support the stall after Mathew put a post out on the fire station’s twitter account. It was so lovely to realise just what a supportive and friendly community we live in here.”
On Tuesday (July 30) evening Oliver and Jasmine were treated to their own private tour of Billingshurst Fire Station by Mathew and firefighter Ronnie Hampton who showed them around the village’s fire engine, taught them how to use a hose pipe, and the importance of CPR. During the evening of getting to grips with life as a firefighter, the enterprising youngsters also presented the crew with their takings of £44.80 from the sale of their homemade ice lollies.
Mathew said: “When we heard that Jasmine and Oliver were holding an ice lolly sale in aid of The Fire Fighters Charity I just knew we had to pop by and say hello and to thank them for all of their hard work.
“But they had put so much thought into this that we really wanted to do something more for them, which is why we invited them along to the station too. It was an absolute pleasure to show them around the fire station, they definitely enjoyed working the sirens on the appliance.
“But we were also able to share some really important fire safety messages with them too, which they will be able to share with their friends.”
Sarah said the children had been so excited for their visit. “They had been looking forward to it all through the weekend after Mathew came to see them,” she said. “And Oliver, especially, had a great time visiting the fire station. Since he was very young he has always been curious about ladders – if there’s one left out he always has to climb it. And if there’s a hose pipe in the garden he will make a beeline for it.
"Clearly we have a firefighter in the making with him!”