Gift of charity: Heywood firefighters donate food hamper prize to needy families

By Glen Keogh

Kind-hearted Heywood firefighters donated a hamper full of their competition winnings to local families suffering food shortages this week.

The crew excelled in Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service’s (GMFRS) Green Hose Awards taking gold and scooping a hamper of locally-sourced delicacies in Wednesday’s ceremony.

But after finding out supplies at food banks in their area were low, they decided to donate their prize – awarded for being the greenest fire station in the area.

Station Manager Ian Tracey handed the hamper over to Father Daly and Kitty Holland from Saint Vincent de Paul RC Church.

Father Daly said:  “I am very pleased with the kindness shown by the station and the hamper will definitely be put to great use.”

As well as the prize hamper, Heywood firefighter John Ogden caught the charity bug and rounded up more food from station staff for the charity.

Some of the hamper items have already been given to families and the remaining goods will soon be shared amongst others.

Firefighters from Bolton Central, Bury, Chadderton, Marple, Mossley and Moss Side also made the final in the battle to be the greenest fire station.

The competition was arranged for both moral and financial reasons according to County Fire Officer Steve McGuirk.

He said: “People think ‘where’s this money coming from? I thought we were hard up?’ but there is hard evidence of how investments we’ve made over the last few years have taken hundreds and thousands of pounds out of our existing utilities budgets.

“This is about hard cash savings in the here and now.

“We’ve reduced our carbon footprint since 2009 by 16%. If the rest of the economy had been on that same kind of target we would have all hit our various carbon reduction targets.”

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