A group of 18 firefighters who attended the Grenfell Tower blaze are set to run the Virgin Money London Marathon in a bid to raise vital funds for us and groups supporting local people affected by the fire.
The firefighters were amongst the first to arrive on the scene of the Grenfell Tower fire on 14th June 2017. Seventy one people are now known to have died and it is the worst residential fire London Fire Brigade have ever dealt with.
Nine of the firefighters are from the Red Watch at North Kensington Fire Station and the other nine are from the Red Watch at Paddington Fire Station. The Paddington crew are taking part in the Marathon in full firefighting gear, including breathing apparatus, meaning they will be wearing an extra 30kgs of weight. In total there will be 53 London firefighters running the Marathon, that number includes the 18 running for Grenfell.
The North Kensington firefighters are raising money for Kids on the Green, a project designed to provide a calm space for families, teens and children affected by the blaze whilst the firefighters from Paddington are fundraising for our Charity and two others, The Harrow Club W10 and The Rugby Portobello Trust.
Crew Manager Martin Gillam from Paddington fire station said:
“This was a hugely traumatic event for everyone involved, both physically and emotionally. We are fundraising for the Fire Fighters Charity which has provided ongoing support to firefighters who attended the Grenfell fire and supports thousands of firefighters across the UK each year.
“We’re passionate about making sure money goes to the people who need it most so we’re also fundraising for two small charities, the Harrow Club and the Rugby Portobello Trust, which are dedicated to supporting local people in the Grenfell community.
“We are running in full firefighting gear and breathing apparatus, which is no mean feat as it adds an extra 30kgs of weight, which is roughly the same weight as a Dalmatian dog! It will definitely slow us down but we’re determined to finish the race as quickly as possible.
“We are grateful for any donations, however small, as the money will go straight to those who need it most.”
London Fire Commissioner, Dany Cotton, commented:
“I stood alongside firefighters as the fire took hold at Grenfell Tower, so I know all too well the absolute horror they dealt with last June. It takes some courage to do what they are doing, to yet again face this tragedy and to try make some good come out of it.
“I am very proud of these firefighters who represent the true essence of what it is to be a London firefighter – grit, determination and the sheer drive to help other people in the face of adversity.
“I really hope that people support their fundraising efforts, the Grenfell community deserves all of the help and support it can get and The Fire Fighters Charity continues to provide counselling and support to our staff, many of whom were left traumatised by Grenfell.”
You can support Paddington fire station’s fundraising efforts here.