For our 75th anniversary year, individuals and teams across the UK have been taking part in our #My75Miles challenge, completing 75 miles anyway they wish and raising a minimum of £75.
When Peterhead Fire Station’s Red Watch heard about the challenge, they wanted to do something special and raise as much money as they could to support the Charity that supports them.

Peterhead’s #My75Miles page
Here, Red Watch firefighter Dean Peacock describes the two-day challenge they embarked on, and why it’s important for them to raise funds for The Fire Fighters Charity:

“We decided as a Watch that we would try and raise as much money as we could for the Charity’s 75th anniversary year by doing something really challenging that would also give us a great personal sense of achievement. The decision was made to walk the old Banff and Buchan railway line in our firefighting gear, and setting the dates for the 7 and 8 of November, we had just under eight weeks to prepare.

“The night before, we loaded up our van driven by our colleague Stewart Wood and headed home for an early night and extra helping of pasta. The morning arrived, and we clambered into the van dressed in our fire gear, yawning and heading for the start of the old railway line.

“Before we left at 6am on the first day, we had already surpassed our £5,000 target thanks to members of the local community, family, friends and local companies all donating and supporting our event.

“During the build-up to our walk we had been approached by the Rapid Relief Team (RRT) who had expressed an interest in catering for us during our two days, free of charge – of course we gratefully accepted. Approaching our first pit stop at Mintlaw nine miles in we could see a table and chairs laid out in a car park with hot food, drinks and cakes. We happily filled our tummies before heading off again towards Maud through Auchnagatt and into Ellon for our second pit stop. By this time the body was starting to feel the effect of the 24 miles we had covered and of course at 1pm the hunger was setting in again. At Ellon the RRT greeted us with a BBQ with an endless supply of tea.

“We reached Udny station at the 30 miles mark in the dark, the rain and wind finally taking its toll on us, this didn’t ease up as we passed Newmachar and reached Dyce station having covered just over 39 miles. The relief everyone felt to see Stewart waiting in the van was great. We had booked a hotel for the night and had a sports therapist on standby to sort out any aches and pains, and believe me, there were plenty. We reached the hotel collectively at around 8:30pm and had some food before getting some sleep for an early morning the next day.

“The morning arrived and as some sorry faces limped down for breakfast it dawned on us that we were only half way there. Following the same route back we set off again. We had a lengthy lunch break in Ellon as it was our only planned stop and headed for home. Darkness had fallen before we reached the half way point and the pace had dropped dramatically, conversation dried up and all our energy was being put into placing those feet in front one after another.

“At Mintlaw a friendly face appeared as one of our colleagues was waiting with warm drinks and snacks for a boost that was sorely needed. Every point passing a road after this we were greeted by our whole-time and retained colleagues much to our delight. We arrived into Peterhead just before 11pm and had the end in sight. Greeted by friends, family and colleagues the finish line was packed with loved ones and we all finished with a smile and plenty pats on the back.

“Overall, I don’t think anyone could have imagined how the challenge would have turned out, from muscular strain to tiredness and grumpiness we were all tested in one way or another. I am delighted to say I completed this with my Watch and I’m sure we have all become closer because of it.

“The Fire Fighters Charity is a great charity that is solely funded by the donations of kind people. When a fire fighter breaks, a fire fighter needs to be fixed, and whether that be physically or mentally, the support is there thanks to this wonderful charity.”

Register for the #My75Miles challenge before 31 December 2018 and complete your miles next year:

Sign up here

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Michelle Halliwell

As a non-uniform member of fire and rescue service personnel, Michelle Halliwell didn't think she was eligible for support, but her visit to one of our centres proved to her how much she belonged.