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Firefighter gets a sprint on for charity

January 31 2020

A firefighter is planning to run on fumes in the Big Smoke to help raise money for a charity that helped him after his sister sadly passed away in 2005.

I’m normally a short distance runner so doing a marathon is a bit of a daunting!

Firefighter Wesley Southall

Wesley Southall, a crew manager in Longton and an on-call firefighter in Rugeley, has signed up to run the prestigious London Marathon on April 26.

The 38-year-old, who joined Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service 20 years ago, signed up to the 26-mile challenge after his daughter discovered a box full of medals from his previous days of running competitively up until he was 26.

Wesley, from Rugeley, said: “I used to run competitively at a national level for the fire service but I decided to take on the challenge when my daughter was asking me about some medals of mine that she’d found.

“Another reason I’ve started running again is to help my mental health, work-life balance and finding something to take away the everyday stress of life.

“I’m normally a short distance runner so doing a marathon is a bit of a daunting thought as I don’t think I’ve ever run at speed for so long. It’s going to be a challenge!”

Wesley is hoping to raise £1000 for the Fire Fighters Charity, a charity almost funded entirely through donations from the fire community and the public, as a way of paying something back after the charity offered him bereavement services after his sister passed away.

He added: “There was only nine months difference between me and my sister, we were like twins.

“I found it hard to grieve at the time it happened so I got offered the opportunity to use the charity. They gave me the time to cry, think and understand what the future holds.

“It’s a way of contributing to a charity that helped me in my time of need and continues to help others when they need it. I hope the money I raise will help someone else who may be in need like I was.”

The Fire Fighters Charity offers help to fire and rescue services, be it help such as mental health, social wellbeing, recovering from injuries or illness and more.

To sponsor Wesley and help him reach his target of £1000, visit:

To find out more about The Fire Fighters Charity, visit: