During blood cancer awareness month members of West Midlands Fire Service raised over £5,000 for Cure Leukaemia by completing 50 consecutive hours running on a human hamster wheel in full fire-fighting kit in Birmingham City Centre.
The 50-hour challenge ran across the weekend with the wheel situated in the bandstand right in the heart of Birmingham’s Brindley Place. Thousands of Brummies stopped to show their support over with collection buckets filling to the brim from the generosity of the Second City’s weekend revellers.
Hen parties stopped for pictures, local waiters donated their tips, a samba band performed in front of the wheel and there was even a mini rave late on the Saturday night! ‘HumFree’ the Free Radio Hamster also came down to show his support over the weekend.
The idea came from former leukaemia patient and Highgate Community Fire Station Crew Commander Adam Joyce who completed the final hour of the challenge in front of family, friends and colleagues.
He said, “I saw a team of firefighters on the Isle of Wight complete a 48-hour challenge with the wheel last year and I thought it would be a great way to raise money and awareness up here in Birmingham.”
“We were absolutely blown away by the generosity and good will from the Birmingham public. Even in the early hours of the morning when it was difficult to keep the runners’ spirits high we had great support from passers by. It was my idea but without the fantastic support of my colleagues in West Midlands Fire Service we would not have raised such a fantastic amount of money for the two charities.”
“Everyone who was involved should be very proud of what we managed to achieve and I know the funds will go directly to helping improve the lives of leukaemia patients and firefighters all around the West Midlands.”
James McLaughlin the Chief Executive of Cure Leukaemia said,
“This was a very different idea from Adam and I knew he would make it a success. Not only did the event raise significant funds for Cure Leukaemia but also awareness with such a prominent location in Brindley Place.
I’d like to thank everyone involved in making the challenge a success; the money raised will directly help patients battling this terrible disease.”
For more photos from the event click HERE
You can still show your support to Adam and his colleagues via their JustGiving page click HERE