Firefighters ride out for charities

Lady Elsie Robson with members of the marathon bike ride team.
Lady Elsie Robson with members of the marathon bike ride team.

Intrepid firefighters got on their bikes for a marathon ride to raise funds for charity.

Nine staff from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service rode to all 17 fire stations in the Tyne and Wear area in one day, covering a distance of 92 miles.

They raised £985, which is being shared between the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, in memory of late friend and colleague Control Firefighter Lee Hope, and the national Firefighters Charity.

Lee died on July 19 this year, aged just 33, 13 weeks after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.

His older brother Scott works within Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue.

Lady Elsie Robson said: “Lee obviously meant a great deal to his colleagues in the fire and rescue service, and it’s touching that they’re so keen to help raise funds in his memory.”

“We’re grateful for everything they’ve already done and I know Lee’s brother, Scott, has further plans to help.

“It’s all a wonderfully positive way to remember Lee and it was a great pleasure to come along to Washington and say thank you on behalf of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation in person.”

Control Support Crew Manager Karl Faetz, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, who organised the fundraising event, said: “I knew Lee since he was 18, and as one of his last wishes was to raise money for the foundation in his name, I wanted to do something to help.

“The bike ride was hard work, but worth it for such a deserving cause and to remember a good friend.

“It was great to meet Lady Elsie and we really appreciated her coming to thank us in person.”

Scott said: “Lee told us in the last few days of his life that he’d like any donations to go to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. He’d always been a fan of Sir Bobby and when he married his wife, Amy, they even did some fundraising at the wedding.

“Over £4,000 was donated just after Lee died and I think he’d be really happy that his family and friends have gone on to do even more to help the charity, too.

“I’m very proud of Karl and the lads for completing this cycle ride in Lee’s memory. The money raised will go on to help other people with cancer, and that’s a great way to remember my brother.”