Spencer Jones

Phoenix Challenge 2023 for The Fire Fighters Charity

Fundraising for The Fire Fighters Charity
raised of £1,000 target
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Phoenix Challenge 2023, 11 June 2023
We provide life-enhancing support to the UK's fire & rescue community.


A team of Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue (HWFRS) firefighters are determined to continue the fundraising legacy left by a former colleague who died, March 2021, at the age of 46 after a 12-month battle with cancer.

For the last Three years the ‘Stu’s Phoenix Challenge’ team have undertaken the Brecon Beacon 10 Peaks Traverse East to West 2020 and West to East 2021 & 2022. This years Challenge whilst being diluted to a walk of the famous Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) Horseshoe which is approximately 12 miles, the team have aimed to include a wider audience of serving, retired members of the Fire Service and friends and family. This provides an annual event and maintains the spirit of Stu’s vision of the Phoenix Challenge, to bring people together to walk and talk and help reduce the stigma of mental health.

Despite Stu being diagnosed with colon-cancer in April 2020, having to undertake intense chemotherapy and immunotherapy sessions in the lead-up to the challenge, even these setbacks didn’t stop Stu from completing the majority of the challenge. Stu was keen to share not only his battle with Cancer but also his battle with PTSD, walking and the Phoenix Challenge were a purpose that enabled Stu to escape. Key to this was not only the event but the majority of training was carried out as a team.

The total raised to date (including gift aid) is an incredible £22,620 for the Fire Fighters Charity. The spirit and zest for life Stu demonstrated in the latter months and weeks of Stu’s life, especially his dedication to the Firefighters Charity is something that Stu himself would like to see live on. So, with this in mind the team are determined to maintain the Phoenix Challenge momentum and would like people to support this year’s event.

Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) HORSESHOE RIDGE WALK

This is a classic Brecon Beacons walk taking in the Brecon Beacons highest peaks; Corn Du (873m), Pen y Fan (886m) , Cribyn (795m) and Fan y Big (719m). The walk is mainly on good tracks but there are some boggy sections along the way.

This year the team are completing the walk, Sunday11th June – 10:30

For anyone interested in taking part in this walk please contact Spencer Jones via email: sjones@hwfire.org.uk

Stu’s sister Sam will again be taking part in this year’s event and is looking forward to seeing everyone and sharing great stories and special memories of Stu. The family have said ‘Stu was dedicated to raising money for the Fire Fighters Charity and specifically asked for donations to be made to this charity on his behalf so we know he would fully support and love this event, we would like to express how honoured we are at this event being undertaken in memory of Stu, he thoroughly enjoyed this challenge himself in August 2020 and we are certain he will be with you all that take on this 2023 challenge, so go and make him proud and keep the momentum going’!

Spencer concluded: “The outpouring following Stu’s death from fire and rescue services and colleagues across the country was overwhelming, and showed what a popular and inspirational individual he was - far beyond just the fire service he worked for. He made his mark, genuinely cared for people and stood up for what he believed.”

Thank you in advance for your support and generous donation.

#SayNo2Stage4 #MentalHealth #PTSD

About the charity

The Fire Fighters Charity offers specialist lifelong health & wellbeing support for the UK fire & rescue community, empowering individuals and families to achieve mental, physical and social wellbeing throughout their lives. This includes serving and retired firefighters, control and support teams.

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