Money raised through our raffle will help us be there for people like retired Lancashire firefighter Les Monkman. Stranded abroad while on holiday in Spain due to lockdown, Type I Diabetic Les was running out of life-saving insulin and unable to get a straight response from anyone.
We heard of his plight and offered our support, becoming a desperately-needed ally, advisor and friend during this difficult time. What's more, Les, who was medically retired from the fire service over 40 years ago, says he had no idea he was a beneficiary of the Charity still after all this time. He says to hear from The Fire Fighters Charity made it feel like he hadn't been forgotten, which meant the world to him.
"I couldn't believe it," says Les. "When one of the Welfare Caseworkers got in touch with me, offering to ring me each week to check in and see how I was, it was the easiest yes I've ever given. It was absolutely fantastic. All it is, is an email or a phone call, but really, it's a connection. For me, at this particular moment in my life, that connection means everything to me.
"It's a wonderful feeling, to have someone on my side who knows what's going on. And it's just lovely to have someone to talk to again. To hear from the Charity when I felt like I had no one on my side was just absolutely wonderful. I don't know any of you personally, but I just love you all. You've made me feel cared for, and like I haven't been forgotten. I've got a lump in my throat now just talking about it."
"My time in the fire service was some of the happiest in my life and I was heartbroken to have to have left it. And now, all these years later, when I was in need, The Fire Fighters Charity was there for me. It's such a special feeling and I am so grateful. It's a wonderful thing you do for people.