Stranraer Fire Station crews have been praised for their efforts after January’s collection of recycled clothing and textiles generated more money for The Fire Fighters Charity than those at any other station in Scotland.
Donated items left at the Lewis Street station’s collection point weighed-in at over 840kgs, generating an estimated £247 for the charity helping current and former firefighters, support staff and their families.
Station Manager James Manning, the commanding officer for the Wigtownshire district, has also been designated as the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) environmental officer for Dumfries and Galloway.
He said: “For Stranraer Fire Station to generate the most of all the collections in Scotland is an incredible achievement for everyone who took part.
“Many fire stations throughout the country are in much bigger towns and cities but our crews are certainly at the heart of the community and that’s why we’ve seen such an amazing response.
“Having clothing banks at fire stations helps make recycling accessible to service personnel and that’s entirely in keeping with wider efforts to reduce our carbon footprint and benefit the environment.
“Everyone who donated items at the Stranraer clothing bank has played their part in raising much-needed funds for a tremendous charity. I’d like to say a very sincere thank you for their support.”
The Fire Fighters Charity works across the UK to enhance the quality of life for serving and retired firefighters as well as others with a connection to the service.
It operates three rehabilitation centres providing physiotherapy, nursing and psychological support programmes for those who have suffered injury, illness, stress or bereavement.
The charity also runs a free and confidential helpline with advisers able to support members of the fire and rescue community on a wide range of concerns and help them find other support and information.
Housing the clothing banks at fire stations such as Stranraer not only benefits the charity, but also fits with the SFRS
Station Manager Manning added: “People don’t necessarily link the fire service with helping the environment but the fact is every fire, no matter how small, produces toxic smoke and fumes.
“We know that pollution enters the local atmosphere and it can pose real problems for people who have breathing difficulties, including conditions like asthma.
“Our crews are actively working to prevent fires and so reduce the impact they have on the environment, and we will definitely look for opportunities to continue utilising that partnership.
“Our national strategy sets out that we take our environmental responsibilities very seriously and are committed to being a high performing, environmentally conscious and responsible organisation, that leads by example and plays its full part in protecting the environment.
“In this area we’re working in partnership with Dumfries and Galloway Council to make sure recycling opportunities are taken up.
“Initiatives like the placement of clothing banks for The Fire Fighters Charity are in keeping with that goal and the success of the collection at Stranraer shows strong enthusiasm from both our crews and the public.”
More than 17,000 tonnes of clothing was donated at collection points in 69 fire stations throughout Scotland during January 2015, raising an estimated £5,000 for the charity.
It costs around £8m per year for The Fire Fighters Charity to operate and the recycling point at Stranraer Fire Station will remain in place for anyone who wants to help by leaving any old or unused items of clothing.
Further information on The Fire Fighters Charity is available on its website at www.firefighterscharity.org.uk/.