THE FIRE FIGHTERS CHARITY
There are the horrifying events that leave their mark on us all: Grenfell Tower ablaze, the 2016 Croydon tram crash or, 30 years ago this Christmas, the horror of Lockerbie.
Then there are the daily occurrences, unseen by most of us, though no less traumatising for those first on the scene: house fires, car crashes, gas explosions. For the UK’S fire and rescue services, this is the reality of every shift.
In 2017/18, 350,000 duty days across the UK’S fire and rescue service were lost to poor health. The nature of the work often means physical injuries, but many others can be left with invisible psychological scars.
The Fire Fighters charity was formed in 1943 to support the families of firefighters killed in the Blitz, and now works with more than 5,000 beneficiaries per year.
In its 75th year, the charity runs physical, psychological, health and well-being programmes from three centres around the country. Its work ranges from providing immediate and ongoing psychological support to firefighters after major incidents, to specialist support for families and children with complex health needs.
With further funding, the charity will be able to enhance mental health support services – doubling its capacity to support people and repurposing and expanding its base in Devon.
This means that whatever trauma they face, firefighters have a chance to return to work and keep the rest of us safe.
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