A GROUP of Pontefract and Castleford firefighters will tackle the highest mountain in Britain to raise cash for the Laila Milly Foundation.
The 13 men – including Laila Milly’s dad Steven McCormack – will wear full firefighting uniform when they climb Ben Nevis on Saturday April 9.
Steven’s work colleagues were keen to get involved in Laila Milly Foundation fundraising – that will pay for a property on Kirkby Road, Hemsworth, to be transformed into a day nursery for young children with serious and complex illnesses – in memory of Laila Milly who died on March 2 after a 12-month battle with Aicardi Syndrome.
Chris Ward, who works with Steven on Castleford blue watch, came up with the Ben Nevis challenge and suggested wearing full kit to make it even more gruelling.
Steven said: “The full gear will make the challenge even tougher – there is the extra weight and it will get really warm inside the uniform. That was the idea though, we wanted to make it a difficult challenge to raise as much money as we could.
“West Yorkshire Fire Service has been really supportive and is letting us take all the kit with us.”
The group will be staying overnight at Fort William fire station in Scotland, just a few miles from the mountain.
Steven said: “I got in touch with the fire service there to see if we could use their facilities and they said they would help. A few of their firefighters are even going to join us on the climb – they know what they’re doing.
“We are hoping to do the whole climb and get back down in about seven hours and we’re all hoping the weather will be good because they said it’s been quite snowy up there recently.”
Steven said the group hoped to raise around £4,000 once all the sponsorship had been collected.
He said: “One lad has already raised £500 so we think the £4,000 is definitely possible. It’s brilliant that everyone has got involved. We probably could have filled another bus load with firefighters who wanted to do the climb.
“Focusing on the charity fundraising and the climb is definitely keeping me occupied and I am really looking forward to the challenge next weekend.”
Taking on the challenge with Steven are Castleford firefighters Chris Ward, Mark Ashman, Dave Todd, Andy Copley, Ben Lee, Stan Brownridge, Daz Hague, Phil Morgan and Aaron Clark, and Pontefract firefighters Martin Henshal, Peter Thomas and John Lloyd.
To sponsor individuals email firstname.lastname@example.org or donate at www.laila millyfoundation.org.uk.