To mark our 75th anniversary, we’re asking you to take on your own 75 miles challenge to help support members of the fire services community in need. The distance is set, but how you get there is completely up to you.

Next week, Charity Chair Andrew Lynch will run the 100 miles of the South Downs Way in four days for his #My75Miles challenge.

“I regularly go for runs over the South Downs as it is near to home and a beautiful part of the world, so thought I’d take it one step further by taking many more steps. The training regime has been stepped up over the last few weeks to include lots of longer runs, uphill running (which is a tad exhausting) and cross-training. I’d like to say that I use the running time to gather my thoughts and speculate on the future strategy for the Charity but it mainly entails concentrating on trying not to fall over and plotting routes to dodge cows! The total distance is 100 miles – cows permitting – but I thought it would be a shame to stop at 75 so decided to chuck in the extra 25 as a bonus (it also means I’ve done the centenary challenge well in advance so I should get a bye when it comes around!)

andrew lynch charity fundraiser


“I’m taking part because the #My75Miles challenge is a great way to celebrate the Charity, how far we’ve come since our World War II origins and raise more funds for our service provision. As a trustee for the last seven years and Chair for the last two, I have seen what an enormous impact our services have on fire service personnel and their dependants and how important it is to be involved in every aspect to help promote our Charity and the life-changing interventions we make.

“I can honestly say that I enjoy every aspect of my role, even when having to make difficult decisions, as we always operate in the best interests of our Charity to ensure that it is in good health to continue providing better services for generations to come. It is a real privilege to be in a position to help promote the Charity and work with talented, passionate and committed colleagues to take our Charity forward and continue to improve services. The highlights have to be sitting on the Spirit of Fire judging panel for a number of years and handing out awards at this year’s ceremony. It is humbling and inspiring to find out about the amazing challenges our fundraisers and volunteers undertake so thought it is the least I can do to chip in with a little contribution of my own.

“The Charity is so important because it really does make a difference to beneficiaries who are physically and mentally injured or traumatised and in need of support and encouragement. The positive feedback I hear everywhere I go all over the UK is a testament to the terrific work of our personnel at the centres and at head office. What we should also remember is how unique our Charity is in offering our services to the whole fire community at no cost! Inspiring others to contribute to a life-changing service is absolutely essential to ensure we can continue to make that positive difference.”