Well life sure has changed quite a lot since we brought you the last issue of Shout! Magazine. Back in the Spring, our pages were brim full of plans for the year and the phrase ‘social distancing’ definitely didn’t exist yet.

So, this Winter issue of Shout! is a special one, because it marks the end of the year none of us are ever likely to forget any time soon. And also because it contains some pretty incredible stories from our beneficiaries and supporters.

Read Shout! Winter 2020 now

Our cover star this issue is Zak Shafique, who was only 15 months into his career with the London Fire Brigade when he suffered a brain injury in a car accident on his commute home from a day shift. He reflects on the support the Charity gave him before and during lockdown and how it has set him on the road to recovery.

We hardly need to tell you that the coronavirus has impacted a lot of everyday life in 2020. And we were no different. But, like our colleagues in the fire service, we adapt to whatever situation we are presented with. And while the virus has meant we have to be more agile, it actually acted as a catalyst in progressing plans in our pipeline anyway. You can read all about how we’ve adapted our services to blend digital and face-to-face support, so we can reach more members of the UK’s fire services in need.

Like the rest of the world, we’ve embraced digital as a way to come together this year. On Wednesday 4 November, we watched in unison as our Spirit of Fire Awards were broadcast as live over YouTube Premiere. We were joined by a host of celebrity faces – including HRH The Duke of Cambridge – to celebrate our winners across 14 categories.

Watch the highlights below, or if you’d like to relive the whole thing, you can do so via our YouTube channel.

We also share progress with our Appeal, where we asked for your support in helping address the significant impact the cancellation of events across the year has had on our fundraising. Throughout the Appeal, we’ve been hearing from some of our regular donors about why they support the Charity, as well as speaking to people like Lee and Dawn Colton, who have benefitted first hand from our help.

Once again, we continue to be absolutely blown away by the incredible fundraising efforts of the UK’s fire family. Our traditional fundraising plans may have been scuppered, but we threw down the gauntlet with our Fire Family Challenge, inviting you to find innovate and inspirational ways to raise money while adhering to movement restrictions and social distancing.

And you did not disappoint. You’ve run, trekked, baked, shaved, sung, rowed, swam and quizzed your way to a whopping £200,000 being raised so far. And we’re not stopping there. We also share ways for you to continue to get involved in the Fire Family Challenge over the Winter.

In our health and wellbeing pages, we explain why pacing may be the secret you need to master physical activity, explore what resilience looks like and how we can develop ours, share ten tips for making the world a brighter place this Christmas, offer some practical advice for keeping well this winter, and review some of the many wellbeing apps on our ORCHA directory.

For all of this and much more, pick up a copy of Shout! or hit the link below. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for even more news from across the Charity throughout the year.

Read Shout! Winter 2020 now