Halloween Firewalk a ‘scorching success’

Monday November 5, 2018

Nearly 60 brave soles (sorry)* conquered their fears and walked barefoot over scorching hot coals at St Richard’s on 1 November, in aid of the trust’s dedicated charity Love Your Hospital.

More than 100 supporters looked on, their faces lit only by the flames and smartphones set to record the events for posterity – and Facebook, of course.

The firewalkers themselves, who were mostly members of staff, queued expectantly at the end of the track for their turn – each one of the 28 fundraisers given a moment to compose their thoughts before striding across the 20-foot fire pit, cheered on by the crowds.

Some took huge steps, while others danced across, but as they reached the comfort of the cooling tarmac, they all had one thing in common: a huge sense of pride and achievement.

“When it was my turn, I was nervous and thinking, ‘Am I really going to do this?’ but I did and afterwards I felt absolutely brilliant. I would 100 percent do a firewalk again. Not only did I overcome my fears, I was able to support the Trust’s charity too. A win, win all round.”

Head of IT Applications, Val Timlick, said: “When it was my turn, I was nervous and thinking, ‘Am I really going to do this?’ but I did and afterwards I felt absolutely brilliant. I would 100 percent do a firewalk again. Not only did I overcome my fears, I was able to support the Trust’s charity too. A win, win all round.”

Director of Facilities & Estates, David Jones, said: “I wanted to raise money for Love Your Hospital and this felt like a really unique way to support the charity. The training was very good, light-hearted and kept us all completely focused on the task in hand.

“As we walked over the fire beds, I was surprised that I didn’t feel any heat or pain whatsoever. I’m so very glad I did it.”

The fire bed was constructed in the East Car Park at St Richard’s from pine, ash and oak which was burnt and then broken down into a smooth red hot path of embers.

The event was led by Time 4 Change, with thanks owed to NJS for supplying and constructing the spectator platform, Actavo for providing crowd barriers, Sainsbury’s Chichester branch for Halloween decorations, Chichester Hospital Radio for broadcasting a spooky playlist and WSHT Volunteers for manning the Love Your Hospital stalls.The Halloween Firewalk is forecast to have raised at least £4,000.

Head of Charity, Amanda Tucker, said: “We’ve had an amazing response to this firewalk event. It’s not only empowering for those who took part, but also a really unique way to raise money for our local hospitals.

“I want to say a heartfelt thank you to our brave firewalkers and everyone who has been involved in making this truly remarkable event a great success.”

*Footnote 1(!); 60 soles = 28 actual souls / charity firewalkers

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