Firefighters step in to rescue charity waterslide fun day

FIREFIGHTERS came to the rescue when a charity fun day ran into difficulty. A giant waterslide arrived in Wild Park, Brighton, on Saturday to raise money for Amaze – the city’s disabled children’s charity. But delays caused by a car crash left a lorry delivering water for the slide trapped on the M25 and running late for the start.

Firefighters based at Preston Circus fire station were due to attend the event that afternoon but on hearing of the problems leapt into their engine to help get the slide running as soon as possible. Rebecca Washington, Green Watch crew manager at the station, said: “The nearest water hydrant was on Lewes Road so we started a relay through the park to the slide. “It took about three or four trips.

“It isn’t something we would normally be able to do unless we were attending an emergency but we cleared it with our control room and Southern Water[1], explaining it was for charity. “We were happy – the event is a great idea.” The lorry did arrive later to pump water for the ride which was enjoyed by 700 people.

Fundraising manager Nicky Bagilhole said: “We are so grateful to the fire service. Thanks to their help, the disruption to the event was minor and rides were delayed only by an hour.” Louise Harvey, 11, of Hove, said: “I was quite nervous as it looked really steep but then I was excited.

It was really fast, I really enjoyed it.” John Merrywest, 59, of Saltdean, took part with his son Peter, 37, and grandson Oliver, 13, who travelled from Sevenoaks and Portsmouth for the event. John said: “It was brilliant, really different – a great thing to do as a family.

I would definitely do it again.” The event is expected to raise between ?5,000 and ?10,000 so the charity can continue to fund its helpline – often the first port of call for advice and support for families across Sussex who have disabled children. Chief executive Rachel Travers said the charity already has 2,000 people on its database in Brighton alone and they were keen to host the event further out of Brighton city centre to tie in with projects they have in nearby Moulsecoomb and Whitehawk.

She added: “In this economic climate it is harder and harder for charities to get funding.

The slide was a massive gamble for us but it has paid off.”

References

  1. ^ Southern Water (www.theargus.co.uk)

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