We have experienced a transformational few months since our last Shout! Magazine and we’re marking the ways the Charity has adapted to these ongoing changes in our latest Winter issue – alongside more inspirational stories from our beneficiaries and health and wellbeing advice from our team of experts.
This issue is particularly special as it marks the official launch of our new health, wellbeing and social media app My Fire Fighters Charity (MyFFC), which is designed specifically for you – our fire services community.
Our cover is dedicated to this exciting new site, with guides on how to get started, a look at some of the various groups you can join to chat to like-minded others and all the other benefits you can find once you’ve registered inside the magazine. Like having The Fire Fighters Charity in your pocket, MyFFC aims to help its users access health and wellbeing information, as well as enabling them to keep in touch with others across the country.
Please note: We had to delay mailing of the magazine after it was printed which means the Blue Light Challenge fundraising campaign, which features in our news pages, has now finished. However, we will continue to work in partnership with Blue Light Card and the other emergency service charities in the future, so stay tuned for more news in the coming months.
Elsewhere Phil Maynard, a Station Manager in West Sussex FRS, shares his story on how the Charity has supported him with his mental health and more recently following a hip replacement. He joined our recently introduced Outpatients Programme at Marine Court earlier this year and has been supported before that too. As a way of giving back for the years of support, Phil has now become a Service Coordinator to help organise fundraising events in his area, while also setting up his own business, Helping Hoodies, which is completely dedicated to the Charity. In fact, in April it donated a huge £11,770 from sales.
You can find Phil’s video in our Shout! group in MyFFC once you’ve registered, and his full story is here.
We bring you all you need to know about our new Covid Recovery Programme, which is aimed specifically at supporting fire and rescue service personnel who are still struggling following a Covid diagnosis. Initially rolled out at Marine Court, it includes a five-day residential stay with a holistic programme created for each individual, along with a series of workshops on everything from nutrition to stress and sleep – as well as online sessions before and after the stay.
We have seen some incredible fundraising efforts over recent months from our beneficiaries and we delve into one of those stories in this issue, looking at how more than 30 colleagues from Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service climbed 10 peaks in just 24 hours in memory of their friend Stu Crebbin, a devoted supporter of the Charity. You can read their full story here.
As always, our magazine is full of practical tips and advice for improving your health and wellbeing and we have shared several pieces from our experts in this issue as a teaser ahead of our upcoming awareness campaign, which will focus on musculoskeletal and joint health. There are articles on everything from the importance of positive mental wellbeing when preparing for and recovering from surgery, as well as nutritional advice for good joint health, a healthy recipe to try at home and some back exercises you can try to help strengthen your muscles and core. You can find all of these on MyFFC and to watch video tutorials for each of the back exercises, simply search ‘back in business’. Alternatively, you can click below and be redirected once you’ve registered.
We have a page dedicated to our wonderful corporate partners and sponsors in this issue too, with information on how your business or company could get involved. You can find out more on our new Charity Partner Page here. And we’ve brought you all the latest news from our Income Generation team on how you can regularly give and make a life changing difference to thousands – from lottery gift vouchers to our text CAKE campaign.
We like to bring you a first-person piece from someone in our community in each issue and this time round, Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer, Kathryn Billing, shares her passion for supporting the Charity and how her Service has responded to the pandemic.
And we have all our latest merchandise deals for you to browse in our shop, as well as a look at how we’ve developed our Living Well Groups over recent months, taking them digital as well as bringing back face-to-face meetings to ensure we reach even more retired beneficiaries.
You will notice this issue of Shout! is a little lighter than previous ones. Our Chief Executive, Dr Jill Tolfrey, explains: “While this issue of Shout! might be a little lighter than previous issues, you’ll be able to enjoy a huge wealth of new content on MyFFC. Reducing the size of Shout! also saves the Charity a great deal in regards to print and mailing costs which, after a year in which our fundraising income has been so severely hit by Covid, is a sensible decision for us to take. It will ensure that we can continue to send you a magazine and develop MyFFC to reach many more people.
“However, this issue has plenty to keep you occupied, so grab yourself a cup of tea and enjoy.”
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.