Fire Fighter Charity clothes campaignThe Fire Fighters Charity is thanking supporters who have helped raise £1 million by donating to its textile recycling scheme over the past four years.

The charity has been operating a successful recycling campaign since the summer of 2009 and has seen more than 7,000 tonnes of clothing diverted away from landfill sites in that period.

Since its inception the recycling scheme has grown year-on-year and the Charity now receives an annual income of £300,000 from funds raised from members of the public recycling unwanted clothing, shoes and household textiles.

There are now more than 500 clothing banks, where unwanted clothes can be left, at various fire stations around the country. The first was set up at Kettering Fire Station thanks to the support of Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The Fire Fighters Charity Chief Executive John Parry said: “We would like to say a huge thank you to all of our supporters who have recycled with us over the last four years – they have helped us to reach this huge landmark for income from recycling.

“We do, however, need people to continue to support the scheme and help us keep fire fighters fit, healthy and happy so they can continue saving lives. It costs £9 million a year to keep The Fire Fighters Charity running and with no government funding, we rely completely on the donations and goodwill of our supporters.”

More than 40 fire and rescue services now support the textile recycling scheme and they are encouraging people in their local communities to keep donating their unwanted textiles at the brightly coloured yellow clothing bins to help raise even more money for The Fire Fighters Charity.

Sales Manager Kevin Biles, who runs the charity’s recycling scheme, said: “This is a fantastic way to not only raise much needed funds for The Fire Fighters Charity, but also reduce landfill and help developing countries with the supply of clothing. Sustainable income is vital to any modern charity, and recycling as an income stream helps and affects so many people, whilst fulfilling our social responsibilities.

“Our successful on-going relationship with our recycling partners over the years has helped us raise this staggering £1 million – thanks to the support of D. Robinson & Co, Tom W Beaumont Ltd, Alford Storage & Textile Company (Astco), WH Tracey, Clyde Recycling, LMB and Elmtree Recycling.”

Chief Fire Officer Martyn Emberson of Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service added: “Recycling is the one thing we can all do for the environment. It's easy, it's simple, and it saves natural resources as well as energy. In turn, by raising funds for The Fire Fighters Charity it also helps injured fire fighters return to work much more quickly – fighting and preventing fires, and saving people from serious road traffic collisions.

“As the reigning champions, we are especially looking forward to the charity’s annual January recycling competition. It always sparks a lot of competitive spirit among fire stations across the UK to ‘be the best’ for the month of January. Why not take the opportunity to get rid of those dodgy jumpers you got for Christmas by donating your textiles at your local recycling bank?"

Caption:  Fire fighters at Corby Fire Station in Northamptonshire celebrate the charity’s achievement with Chief Fire Officer Martyn Emberson.