There are so many great ways to fundraise for us and one supporter who put a unique spin on his own challenge was West Sussex Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Peter Rickard.

Peter took on his very own version of the TV show Hunted in October by going ‘on the run’ for a week in West Sussex – and raised £1,000 for us along the way.

Starting on Monday 9 October at Marine Court, our centre in Littlehampton, Peter attempted to visit all 25 fire stations in West Sussex without being spotted by any of his 752 colleagues.

Carrying nothing but a tent, a rucksack and £50, Peter came incredibly close to completing the week without being detected, but was finally seen whilst visiting his final fire station in Hurstpierpoint.

Speaking of the challenge, Peter said: “The fire and rescue service is part of my DNA; my grandad, dad and brother have also served as firefighters and as a child I remember raising money for The Fire Fighters Charity with my family. My dad and I used to hold fundraising events such as car washes and bed pull challenges.

“Being based in West Sussex, my colleagues and I are very lucky to have the charity’s Marine Court centre on our doorstep in Littlehampton. I am regularly popping in to say hello and by doing this I have seen the work that the charity does first-hand, supporting fire service colleagues from across the UK who are experiencing different injuries and challenges.

“Recently I sustained an ankle injury and I know that The Fire Fighters Charity will be there to help me with physiotherapy when the time is right.”

He added after finishing: “My daughters and I pre-planned a route that my colleagues wouldn’t suspect, and I tried to stick to it as best as possible. I thought people would assume I’d start my journey visiting fire stations along the east coast, so I headed straight to Chichester, East Wittering and Selsey!

“The kindness that I experienced during the week was overwhelming, strangers gave me lifts from one place to another and friends let me leave my belongings in their gardens while I was out walking. Carrying all my equipment for miles across the South Downs was no mean feat, so I was very grateful to do some walking without the tent and rucksack!

“In total I covered 56 miles, and 16 of those I did in one day when travelling from Horsham across to Crawley and Horley.”

“The hardest part was being without my family, I think I underestimated just how lonely I would find it. After my first night on the run it struck me just how much I missed my wife and two daughters; being reunited with them was the best feeling ever.” Peter added.

The Fire Fighters Charity’s Community Fundraiser, Louise Furneaux, adds: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed following Peter’s progress throughout the week with this unique fundraising challenge. He gave it his all, with some amazing results, and on behalf of everyone at The Fire Fighters Charity, I send him my heartfelt thanks.

“Alongside support at our three centres – including Marine Court in West Sussex – we offer a wealth of health and wellbeing resources online and in communities. However, we couldn’t continue to do so without fundraising activities like this, which make such a vital difference to so many lives. Thank you once again to Peter for his dedication to this challenge.”

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