A brave night walking on fire for heart charity

The BLAZE Firewalking challenge at Lord Nelson pub in Chorley in aid of CRY
The BLAZE Firewalking challenge at Lord Nelson pub in Chorley in aid of CRY

It was a case of mind over matter for this group of fire walking challengers.

A total of 17 volunteers walked over hot coals to raise money for CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young), to hold more heart screenings in the area.

Chris Smith doing the fire walk challenge

Chris Smith doing the fire walk challenge

The event, at Lord Nelson pub, in Chorley, was organised by Julie Smith, a member of support and fund-raising group Heartfelt. Her son’s life was saved through the screening programme as it picked up a previously undetected defect when he was 16.

Julie, 55, of Penwortham, said: “The fire walk went really well. It was such a positive and uplifting experience and everyone said it was amazing.

“People were sceptical about getting training two hours before, but everyone agreed how much it had helped. Of all the 17 people that turned up that night, no-one backed out. They had committed themselves to it and it meant a lot to them.

“With the money raised, we can screen young people in the Preston and surrounding area. If my son Chris had not been screened, we could have lost him, as we had no idea there was anything wrong with him.

Challenger Ann Coles

Challenger Ann Coles

“I am forever grateful and I will do whatever I can to raise awareness and prevent it from happening to other families.

“I want to say a big thank you to members of Heartfelt, a fund-raising and support group, who took charge of the raffle. Staff at Lord Nelson were also fantastic as they put food on for the fire walkers and they also donated £100 to our cause, which was brilliant.”

“We also wish to thank Karen Sterling and her team from BLAZE Firewalking for putting on a truly inspiring evening.”

One of the challengers was Ann Coles, whose son Andrew died in 1997, aged 21, following a sudden cardiac failure.

Chris Smith

Chris Smith

The 62-year-old, of Leyland, said: “The fire walk was amazing. We did a couple of exercises, which were fun and it got us hyped up.

“We went out and saw the path being lit and we had to walk alongside it to see how many steps it would take us.

“We had to concentrate on the steps and walk at a fast pace and it seconds we had done it.

“It was daunting when we saw it being lit, as it was glowing. It was really weird walking on the hot coals. You could feel the heat but it was not burning hot. We just had to concentrate on our steps. Everyone was cheering us on, which uplifted us.”

James Love

James Love

Another challenger, Jayne Elland, said: “I said yes to a challenge not knowing what it was at first. My anxiety levels were hitting the roof on the day. I watched nervously as BLAZE built the fire. My head was saying run away but my heart was saying stay.
“After the preparation talk I was ready to walk the fire. I am very glad that I took part and was able to raise money for CRY.”

James Love said: “I volunteered after hearing about all the good work CRY does in identifying heart problems in the young. I hope that the money I have raised will help the charity carry on its great work.”

Nicky Kellett, 42, of Ribbleton, said: “I was worried at first but the training put us in a positive mind, which still hasn’t worn off. It was over in a flash. I would definitely do it again.”

For more information on CRY visit http://www.c-r-y.org.uk.

For a previous story on the fire walk click here http://www.lep.co.uk/news/walking-through-fire-to-get-more-heart-screenings-1-8079072

Challenger Nikki Lawless

Challenger Nikki Lawless