Wed, 06 Dec 2017
FIREFIGHTERS from Tadley Fire Station were nominees for a Charity Supporter of the Year award.
And the team was recognised at the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service Celebrating Success 2017 awards on Wednesday last week, where the Charity Supporter of the Year award went to Southampton station manager Andy Piller.
The firefighters have been raising money for six-year-old Oliver Witcomb, who is suffering from a rare brain condition called Lissencephaly, which means he cannot sit or stand without help, is fed by tube and has seizures on a daily basis.
His parents are raising money to make life-changing alterations to their home, to help with his condition.
Watch manager Sally Gould said: “We didn’t do the fundraising to win an award.
“We did it for the family who really need some help.”
The firefighters raised more than £3,000 for the charity by completing a 55-mile trek while carrying a stretcher and a 30kg dummy, on a tour of 10 Hampshire fire stations over 24 hours.
Oliver’s mother, Louise Fell said: “Sally and the Tadley crew are the first people who have no connection to us directly who offered to help.
“It is comforting to know there are genuinely good people who are willing to do this for us and Oliver.
“The effort and time the firefighters are putting into this is overwhelming, not only on the day but the planning behind the scenes.
“I think it also shows how amazing our local fire service is, saving and helping lives in any way they can.”
In total, the family need £60,000 to carry out the home alterations.
So far £30,000 has been secured through a disabled facilities grant.
The work will provide a downstairs bedroom for Oliver with shower facility, a widening of doorways for his wheelchair, hoisting equipment to make him more mobile, a driveway with dropped kerb access, storage for equipment and medicines and more floor space for him to enjoy time with the family and have physiotherapy.
Mr Gould said: “The money raised is nowhere near the amount needed and we are planing to carry on fundraising.
“The fire fighters are willing to do the work on the house – like the TV show DIY SOS – but we need a project manager to co-ordinate the fundraising and the funds.”
To donate to Oliver’s Dream go to https://www.gofundme.com/Oliver-s_Dream