Firefighters canoe to London for charity

Nine Lincolnshire firefighters will be raising money for charity by canoeing from Lincoln to London this summer.

The team will spend four days in their canoes, and will cover over 240 miles, hoping to raise over £1,000 for the Fire Fighters Charity and ShelterBox.

The firefighters taking part are Neil Woodmansey MBE, Mark Baxter, Andy Ford, Shaun Yates, Royce Atkinson, Chris Lowe, Dave Phillips, Sean Taylor and Darren Stones.

The team will start August 9 from Lincoln’s Brayford Pool, along Fossyke Canal to the Trent, then down River Soar to the Grand Union Canal and finally the River Thames.

The team will row in two0hour shifts for 16 hours per day, camping overnight on riverbanks.

Station Manager Andy Ford said: “Twenty years ago when I first joined, I did the same trip with some other firefighters.

“It was good fun but it was also a challenge — it’s not just paddling in the water, it’s physically lifting and moving the canoes, negotiating long tunnels, and navigating long stretches of river.”

“But we will be supporting two worthy charities. ShelterBox helps those caught in the wake of natural disasters by providing all-in-one packs containing a family size pop-up tent, sleeping bags, food, water and water purification supplies.

“We’ve been to sites like Haiti and Japan and seen the devastation, and how much good these supplies can do.

“The Fire Fighters Charity offers support to firefighters and their families in times of need. You never know when you or someone you work with is going to need the charity’s services, so we want to support them too.”

To donate to the cause, visit the team’s Just Giving page, and follow their progress on Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue website nearer the time.

Source: Lincolnshire County Council | Photo: Samantha Fisher for The Lincolnite