Thursday 17 November saw the first Fire walk for Maggie’s centre Cheltenham, hosted in the grounds of our office, Chargrove house.
The weather was kind, as the rain stayed away, leaving a clear and relatively warm night for the family and friends who came to watch 18 valiant people who had signed up to help fundraise for such a worthwhile cause.
The evening started with the fire walkers taking part in a 90 minute briefing which was facilitated by Karen Sterling, Head trainer and ‘Boss Lady’ at BLAZE Fire walk. Established in 1984, BLAZE prides itself with ensuring that the safety of the participants is a priority, as well as providing them with the encouragement to face their fears.
When the spectators arrived there was a brief break in the training as everyone was invited to watch the BLAZE expert technician light the fire.
As the final part of the safety and motivational briefing was completed, the spectators were entertained by the fire technician, who was obviously very experienced ‘working’ with fire and some of our wonderful staff volunteers handed out free hot dogs and hot drinks.
At 8pm the hot embers were raked evenly over the fire pit and all 18 followed the advice given during their briefing and walked the fire (twice!) encouraged by the thunderous cheers from their fellow walkers and spectators. The atmosphere was amazing and we all agreed it was something magical to be part of!
Two of our own staff members took part and both found the training session uplifting and motivational, agreeing it gave them the encouragement and positivity to face the fire.
Jo Kline said “Karen’s briefing was very uplifting and she had a way of encouraging positive thinking and ridding your mind of the fear and negative thoughts about walking on fire. Bizarrely, I recalled it felt more like walking on fluffiness rather than burning embers. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat!”
Jamie Moss said “I don’t quite understand yet why in my second week of joining the firm I volunteered to join Jo on the fire walk, It started off jokingly but I’m glad I followed through with it. It began with a training session from Karen which pushed me out of my comfort zone, but I enjoyed pairing alongside Jo encouraging each other to build some positive energy and to not be scared of the flames! All in all it was a great experience and I’d happily do it again”.
Jo Kline is pictured below with Anna Mason, the Community Fundraiser at Maggie’s Cheltenham Centre with their certificates.
We are so pleased to have been able to help Maggie’s hold this event. BLAZE were incredibly professional, as they provided all the protective and safety equipment to make sure there was no damage to our property or anyone taking part.
At last count the total raised was over £2400 with more pledges still to be counted. An amazing amount but some truly brave and inspiring individuals.