Hampshire firefighters going the extra mile for charity have been rubbing shoulders with royalty.
Adam Bundle and Stu Vince, watch managers at St Mary’s Fire Station, are preparing to row across the Atlantic Ocean for The Fire Fighters Charity and were invited to meet HRH The Duke of Cambridge at the charity’s newly renovated Harcombe House on Emergency Service’s Day.
Adam, 39, said: “He was genuinely really interested in our campaign and wanted to know why we were doing it. Obviously mental health is very close to his heart.”
“We told him all about how we’re going into local businesses, teaching them to be mental health first aiders and all the money that we raise goes into our campaign and helps the charities.”
Another of Hampshire’s finest charitable firefighters was recently welcomed to Buckingham Palace to represent the Service at one of Her Majesty The Queen’s garden parties.
Watch Manager Craig Sadler was accompanied by his wife on a glorious sunny day for the grand occasion.
Based at Cosham Fire Station, Craig is one of a troupe of firefighters who are on a fundraising mission for The Fire Fighters Charity ahead of their Everest Base Camp challenge.
Craig, 47, said: “It was an honour to be invited to Her Majesty The Queen’s garden party and represent Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.
“It was a privilege and humbling to be with so many good people.”
Craig and his team of fourteen firefighters will take on the treacherous trek in November and have already been raising money through scaffolding ladder climbs, cycling challenges, quiz nights and car washes.
Adam and Stu want to raise awareness for mental health, having both experienced their own battles in their unique workplace and are aiming to raise money for SolentMind as well as The Fire Fighters Charity.
They are working alongside Southampton Solent University to prepare for the 3,000 mile Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge in December 2020.
Stu, 43, said: “It would be an absolute honour to raise money for both charities as they have helped in both my physical and mental fight to return to operational duty.”
Based in the heart of Devon, The Fire Fighters Charity’s residential centre Harcombe House has undergone a £1.8m refurbishment and now boasts a range of dedicated rooms and spaces designed to support individuals and groups with their mental health.
On his visit, The Duke of Cambridge said: “As a society, we owe our wellbeing, and indeed our lives, to the men and women in our emergency services who work tirelessly to protect us in some of the most difficult circumstances.”