September 25th, 2016

Redditch volunteers brave flames for charity

Updated: 2:52 pm, Aug 05, 2016

A GROUP of Redditch volunteers faced the fear and the flames of a firewalk in front of a crowd on Saturday (July 30)

The aim was to raise money for local charity Charlotte and Craig Saving Hearts Foundation (CCSHF), which was set up by Rob and Maggie Underwood in 2011 to provide the local community with defibrillators.

Twenty-four volunteers braved the burning embers including Maggie herself, two of our reporters – Imogen Buller and Aaron Wise – and three staff members from Redditch Asda.

“It was totally amazing. There are so many people to thank and such generosity shown,” said Rob Underwood.

The team from UK FireWalk briefed the daredevils on health and safety and the crowds gathered at around 3pm to cheer them on.

“Having never walked on fire before I was quite nervous initially, but after getting into the ‘zone’ following a pep talk I didn’t think twice about walking across 536°C,” said Aaron, who works for our sister paper the Worcester Observer.

Most of the walkers enjoyed the experience and many did the walk three or four times – with only one or two coming away with minor blisters.

62-year-old Darrall Young, from Kidderminster said: “I did this walk today to support this wonderful local charity.

“I have wanted to do a fire walk for several years and I can’t think of a more worthy cause.”

Shanta Eyres, from Redditch, said: “ I saw the event in the newspaper and signed up immediately.

“I didn’t have much time to think about it or get scared and I am so glad I managed it. It’s one thing off the bucket list.”

The fire-walk event at the Oust House pub also featured a raffle, tombola, face painting, bouncy castle and volunteer firefighter demonstration, all of which supported CCSHF.

Rob and Maggie also surprised the volunteer firefighters by presenting them with a brand new defibrillator which will allow them to attend even more events.

Commanding Office Darren Besford said: “The lads and me feel like it’s Christmas day.

“They totally took me by surprise and we cannot thank them enough for their generosity and hard work.”

Visit http://www.ccshf.org.uk/ for more information.

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