Fire crew cycles 275 miles to 32 stations for mental health charity

Fire and rescue staff spent 21 hours cycling between 32 fire stations, raising thousands of pounds for a mental health charity.

hirteen staff from Humberside Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) cycled the 275 miles between all the different stations, riding through North Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire, East Rising and North East Lincolnshire on June 19.

Firefighter Paul Wainwright, who planned the journey, told the PA news agency: “I’m so proud of everyone for getting around.”

The 43-year-old, who lives in York and works in Scunthorpe, said stations “pulled out all the stops” to greet the cyclists.

“They were staging scenes to make their stations look good in our photos,” he said.

“There were people in breathing apparatus, people up ladders, and flying drones about.

“It made the day really nice. When there is a group of guys waiting for you at a station at midnight, offering you Haribo, it’s a nice feeling because you know that they are with you in spirit.”

The group has now raised almost £5,000 for Hull and East Yorkshire Mind.

An avid cyclist who regularly takes part in ultra-style events, Mr Wainright said the idea came about following discussions with the HFRS fitness manager.

He said: “We got talking, and said it would be great to get a group to do this. Straight away we knew we wanted to do it for mental health.

“We have both had close friends or family members who have needed the help of mental health charities in recent times, so it’s close to home.

“I can’t claim to have suffered from ill mental health over the last year during lockdown, but I completely understand why people have been, and why it has been such a tough year for everyone.”

The challenge was a repeat of a 1996 attempt, undertaken by seven HFRS members who cycled between 31 fire stations in 24 hours.

The group consisted of firefighters, a director, control, support and retired staff.

“It just caught the imagination of our workforce,” Mr Wainright said.

To donate to the fundraiser, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/hfrsultracycle-2021

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