FUNDRAISING NEWS: Fundraising day for firefighters

ANNIE KELLY

An international firefighters fundraising and memorial day will be launched by two UK charities to mark the anniversary of 11 September.

The Fire Services National Benevolent Fund and the Firefighters Memorial Charitable Trust will run an event every year on 8 September to honour firefighters killed in service.

It is hoped that the day will generate more than £100,000 this year.

"After September 11 we felt that it was time to organise something on an international level,

said Toni Denywer, national fundraising manager at the Fire Services National Benevolent Fund. "We'd like the International Firefighters Day of Remembrance to be nationally accepted by the public, much like Red Nose Day or Children In Need."

The charities predict that more than £80,000 will be raised through the sale of commemorative ribbons, which will be sold for £1 at fire stations and businesses across the country.

London nightclub Red Cube will host a celebrity evening on 8 September, which aims to raise a further £20,000. Regional fundraising events will also be co-ordinated by local brigades, which will try to rally support for the Day of Remembrance in their local communities.

"In the wake of September 11, our British fire-related charities have suffered drops in income as concerned members of the public and UK firefighters raised money for the families of the firefighters killed in the New York terrorist attacks,

said Kevin Quinn, a London firefighter who is organising the club event. "We are now assured that these families are financially secure, so I felt we had to do something to help our own UK Fire Service personnel."

The Fire Services National Benevolent Fund plans to approach other related organisations such as burns charities and family support networks to form alliances to increase the reach of the Day of Remembrance in the future.

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