Volunteers walk through a fiery pit fundrasing for a local hospice

Volunteers walk through a fire pit to fundraise for their local St Jospeh's Hospice in Hackney PIC

Volunteers walked through a fire pit to fundraise for the St Jospeh’s Hospice in Hackney. Pic: David Cartwright

A group of fearless volunteers raised more than £11,000 after braving four feet of fiery footing in a  sponsored Fire Walk for St Joseph’s Hospice in Hackney last week.

Gemma Cornwell, head of Community fundraising for the Hospice, said: “Everyone has come here to support the Hospice, it’s great. It costs £15 million a year to run the hospice and only half of that is covered by government and NHS funding, so the other £7million comes from fundraising.”

The volunteers who walked over 650Celsius coals were shadowed by event organisers who had buckets of water ready at hand. The money raised was double the target set.

Local firefighter Joe Jackson who volunteered to take part in the fire walk said: “My relationship with fire is a close one but I never thought I would walk on it… It was hard to resist putting out the fire with the buckets of water that were set up at the end of the walk for those with hot toes.”

After Jackson made it through his walk he said: “It was an amazing opportunity and I hope to be back for some more fundraising in the future!”

St Joseph’s Hospice, set up in 1905 by Irish nuns, specialises in end of life care for patients throughout East London. They also help families of the patients to deal with grief by providing free counselling, massage and reflexology.

Cornwell added: “We have mainly people from the local area, people are walking because they have lost somebody and they are doing it in memory. We also have people whose mum’s volunteer here and they have roped them into doing it.”

Cornwell was not taking part in the fire walk herself: “I am going to be fundraising in May for the run Hackney half-marathon. I know [the fire walk] is 100% safe, but just in case….”

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