Last weekend (18-19 February), firefighters from Slough, Langley and Maidenhead fire stations, along with staff and volunteers from throughout Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS), organised two car washes and collections to raise money for charity.
In total over £10,000 was raised, with all the proceeds going to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal and The Fire Fighters Charity.
Armed with buckets and sponges, firefighters and volunteer staff gave up their free time and set to work cleaning hundreds of cars on Saturday and Sunday at Slough and Maidenhead fire stations. Volunteers also set up a number of collection points throughout the two towns while engaging with local communities.
The money raised will help millions of people in the earthquake-stricken region with emergency shelter, blankets, food, clean water and medical aid.
Dave Chambers, Crew Manager, Slough Fire Station commented: “With the death toll rising to over 44,000 people in Türkiye and north-west Syria and many more injured, we wanted to do something meaningful to help the people and families of these devastated regions. Our charity car washes are very popular with the communities we serve.
“On behalf of Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service, we would like to pass on our sincere thanks to all the staff that gave up their free time over the weekend to help organise these events. It was a real team effort with duty crews, off-duty crews, families, friends, young firefighters and volunteers all working together. I would also like to acknowledge the amazing generosity of the many people within our local communities who helped raise more than £10,000. This really is a staggering amount of money to raise in such a short time.”
Mark Jones, Station Manager, Slough Fire Station added: “We would particularly like to give a special mention to members of our Turkish and Syrian communities throughout Slough and Maidenhead who came along to the fire stations and expressed their heartfelt gratitude towards our volunteer staff. This was quite emotional for them as handshakes and warm embraces were exchanged with staff in appreciation for all their hard work.”
Martin Simmonds, Station Manager at Maidenhead Fire Station said: “Along with our colleagues in Slough, we also held a charity carwash at Maidenhead Fire Station with donations going to The Fire Fighters Charity. It was a fantastic day for everyone involved. With a steady queue of vehicles arriving at the station throughout the day, we estimate our staff cleaned more than 300 vehicles in just six hours.”
RBFRS will be holding further charity car washes throughout the year. For further information, please visit our community events page on the website.
DEC brings together 15 leading UK aid charities to raise funds quickly and efficiently at times of crisis overseas. www.dec.org.uk
The Fire Fighters Charity offers specialist, lifelong support for members of the UK fire services community, empowering individuals to live happier and healthier lives.