Firefighters cycle 270 miles for two charities

Firefighters on bikes
Yeovil's Red Watch cycled to every fire station in Somerset [BBC]

Firefighters have taken part in a fundraising challenge to help support a colleague's sister who has a rare form of cancer.

Yeovil's red watch cycled 270 miles (434km) to every fire station in Somerset, and one in every neighbouring county, starting on Thursday.

Rosie's Illingworth's sister was diagnosed with Peritoneal Epithelioid Mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer.

Fellow Devon and Somerset firefighter Chris Grantham said: "It's horrendous what Rosie and her family are going through. The camaraderie we've got between all the people on the watch gets you through it."

Ms Illingworth also took part in the cycle challenge to support her sister and raise money for two charities, The Little Princess Trust and The Firefighters Charity.

Speaking after the cycle on Friday, Mr Grantham said it was "really, really good".

He added they reached their £2,000 goal and "memories have been made forever".

Firefighters cycling
Some of the firefighters are self-proclaimed amateur cyclists [BBC]

Stephen Gilford, another firefighter, ferried people around to make sure everyone could cycle in between shifts over the two days.

"I did my training with Rosie," he said.

"I'm chuffed to be able to help out."

Brad King added: "I'm an amateur cyclist. Learning not to fall off the side was a good start."

Mr Grantham said he has been at the station coming up to six years and in the service for 20.

"We did a similar event two years ago when I lost my mum," he said.

"We walked from Wells to Yeovil and raised money for a hospice."

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