December 8 2013 Latest news:
By Anthony Carroll
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
No one can doubt the courage and skills required to work as a firefighter.
But Maxine Hunt and Andrea English are more aware than most of the huge demands of the job.
The close friends from Reydon are both married to serving Suffolk firefighters, and Mrs Hunt, 48, is also the daughter of a fireman and the sister of two members of the retained crew in Southwold.
To show their appreciation of the work they do tackling blazes and saving people’s lives, the pair are preparing to push their bodies to the limit to support a charity that helps firefighters and their families in time of need.
On Sunday, October 27, they are taking part in the BUPA Great South Run in Portsmouth for the Firefighters Charity – and they will be spurred on by their personal experiences and family connections.
Mrs Hunt’s father Stephen Cuffe was a firefighter in Southwold and, before he died eight years ago aged 59, he was supported by the Firefighters Charity after being diagnosed with emphysema.
Her husband, Jim Hunt, is a member of the retained crew in Southwold, along with her brothers, Stephen and Carl Cuffe, while Mrs English’s husband, Andy, is a full-time firefighter based in Lowestoft.
Mrs Hunt, who works at Southwold Surgery, said: “The reason we are doing this is because it is close to my heart. The Firefighters Charity helped my father by buying him an electric bike which could carry oxygen.
“I have lived a lot of my life around firefighters so I know the good work the Firefighters Charity does.
In preparation for their 10-mile challenge, Mrs Hunt and Mrs English have been out running four times a week.
Mrs Hunt: “We want to do the run in about two hours and 15 minutes. But it all depends on the day.
“I’m sure I’ill be thinking of my day and the crew of the Southwold fire station as I am going round.”
The pair have done shorter races, such as the Adnams 10k, but nothing as long as 10 miles.
Mrs English, 38, a nurse with the St Elizabeth Hospice charity, said: “We are looking forward to it, but I am sure it will be a bit tough... The Firefighters Charity does such good work and relies on donations.”
The Firefighters Charity aims to raise £9m a year to offer support to serving and retired fire service personnel and their families. This includes providing physical rehabilitation to those who require it and organising one or two-week breaks to help those who have suffered injury, illness, stress or bereavement.
To sponsor Mrs Hunt and Mrs English visit www.justgiving.com/Maxine-hunt