Firefighters, volunteers and staff from across Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) have raised thousands of pounds to support the people of Ukraine – thanks to the generosity of people across the city-region.
Fire stations across Greater Manchester held charity car washes on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 March and raised over £27,000, with more to be counted. Colleagues from across the Service and Greater Manchester Combined Authority all chipped in to wash cars and collect donations from members of the public.
All of the money raised will be shared with Greater Manchester-based frontline medical aid charity UK-Med, which has launched an emergency appeal backed by the Mayor of Greater Manchester.
Chief Fire Officer Dave Russel said: “I’m incredibly proud of the hard work of all our firefighters, support staff and volunteers over the weekend. Together we washed thousands of cars and raised thousands of pounds to go towards vital supplies for Ukraine.
“We stand in solidarity with Ukraine and will do whatever we can to support all those affected by the devastating and tragic events that continue to unfold. The car washing days are just one of the ways the Service is helping this vital cause.
“I’d like to thank everyone that came along to the car washes – whether that be to wash cars, bring food supplies for our staff, or have a vehicle washed for a donation – we are overwhelmed by the support and generosity of the people of Greater Manchester.”
There have been some heart-warming stories of the community’s generosity and support over the weekend. At Marple fire station, local residents Alan and Joyce donated the £100 that they would have spent celebrating their recent 50th wedding anniversary.
At Rochdale fire station, emergency service colleagues from Greater Manchester Police and North West Ambulance Service helped firefighters and GMFRS staff to clean cars.
Meanwhile, when firefighters at Farnworth fire station were called out to an emergency incident, members of the public took it upon themselves to wash cars and still donated generously.
The Service also received thanks from local residents and organisations with links to Ukraine. At Whitefield fire station, a resident from Ukraine dropped by to thank crews and volunteers, while at Agecroft members of the Eccles Polish centre provided thanks and sandwiches to GMFRS staff who have recently been helping to sort donations at the centre.
The car washes come as firefighters continue to support local charities with the ongoing humanitarian effort. This has also included crews helping with the sorting and distributing of donations at the Bury Polish Centre and distributing aid to warehouses in Trafford Park before they are shipped to Poland.
Later this week, a team of volunteers from GMFRS will join a national convoy delivering fire and rescue equipment to support firefighters on the frontline in Ukraine.
To donate to the UK-Med Ukraine Appeal visit: uk-med.org/ukraine-appeal.