23 days until Christmas – ‘tis the season for giving

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) firefighters are hoping to spread the Christmas joy this year by raising money for children who will be spending the festive period at Royal Berkshire Hospital.

Firefighters from Red Watch at Whitley Wood Fire Station have embarked on a county-wide challenge to raise money to fund Christmas presents for children who will be spending their Christmas on the Dolphin or Lion ward, instead of at home with their families. This is something that most parents and guardians will hopefully never have to experience, but for those that do, the firefighters would like to offer them a gift which will hopefully bring a smile to their face.

The firefighters have been working with the Ward Sister so that they can make sure that each gift will be carefully selected for each child that will be staying over Christmas. There are 44 beds on the Ward and our firefighters are hoping that with the generosity of the public and local community, each bed will have a present waiting for that child.

Martyn Ainsworth, Firefighter at Whitley Wood Fire Station who has been organising this fundraiser, said: “This is my first year in RBFRS and as a Watch we will be working over the Christmas period so we wanted to do something that would bring a bit of Christmas joy to us, as well as to the poorly children who will be spending their time at Royal Berkshire Hospital. 

“We would love to raise at least £200 and we have set-up a JustGiving page to help us. We would be very grateful of any donation, large or small, that will go towards a new toy or book for a very deserving child.

“Many of us will never be in this situation but for those that are; hopefully a small gift on Christmas Eve will make a small difference to improving their Christmas.”

The firefighters have already had some success in securing donations through wordof-mouth, but they are still hoping for further donations. The firefighters are hoping to go and buy the Christmas presents in early December and so all donations would be gratefully received before Friday, 9 December. To donate or find out more from the JustGiving page, please click here.