Welsh professional rugby league player Elliot Kear had always dreamed of joining the fire service, but when his career on the pitch went professional, he never thought he’d have the opportunity to pursue it.
Fast forward 10 years, however, and the 33-year-old now juggles his sporting life with his career as a wholetime firefighter with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service. And central to that work is his passion for supporting us – having seen the difference we’ve made to many of his colleagues lives, all thanks to your generous donations.
“Firefighting is something I always wanted to do and I wrongfully assumed at one point that I’d never get the chance,” says Elliot.
He began playing rugby as a teenager and first went professional in 2009. He’s gone from strength to strength ever since, and recently joined his teammates in the Rugby League World Cup.
“I was a year into my two-year deal with Salford, in 2020, when I started to think about applying to the fire service,” adds Elliot. “I’d applied when I was younger, because it was always a passion of mine, but this time I was fortunate to get in.
“It was difficult juggling everything, particularly all the tests, with rugby, because that was full-time at that point, but it was worth it.
“I really enjoyed the interview part of applying, because I found a lot of the characteristics that they were asking for – some of the life experiences and how you overcome problems – seemed to be very similar to what I’d been through with rugby league.”
Ever since day one on the job, Elliot has known about us and the support we offer. He said he didn’t hesitate to set up a monthly recurring donation to us, as he knows we could be there for him or his family in the future.
“I heard about the Charity very early on, and the support you can receive at the three centres and online,” he adds.
“I wanted to get involved straight away and set up my monthly donations – I felt it was part and parcel of joining the fire service.
“You’re part of a family and supporting our charity is part of that. One of these days it may be paid back, when I or my family need it, and that’s so valuable.”
To find out about setting up a regular donation to us, visit www.firefighterscharity.org.uk/donate. Every pound you donate makes such a huge difference to people’s lives right across our fire services community.