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Fundraising for firefighters

354. David Roberts

David Roberts, from Smalfield in Surrey, first became a London fire station representative for the Fire Fighters Charity in 1969 and remains a loyal supporter 46 years later.

He runs the Charity’s successful London Shop, which includes running the Shop in a Box which he pioneered. It involves buying fire service-related merchandise wholesale and then sending it out to stations, in a box, to sell at fire station open days and other community events. After proving hugely successful in London, this innovative Shop in a Box concept has been rolled out nationally by the Charity.

David, who previously worked for London Fire Brigade, has initiated and organised hundreds of fundraising events in aid of The Fire Fighters Charity, including the coordination of collections at London train stations. His many creative fundraising ideas include the National Christmas card project and he continues to produce, sell and distribute the legendary rota calendars for London Fire Brigade operational staff.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“Dave has dedicated a lifetime of hard work to supporting his colleagues in the fire and rescue community in our capital city. Finding innovative ways to raise money, and travelling across the country on fundraising missions, are just some of the reasons why he is a tribute to the fire and rescue service and an inspiration to us all.”

The Fire Fighters Charity is the UK’s leading provider of life-enhancing support services to the fire and rescue community; it provided almost 5,000 beneficiaries in 2014/15 with valuable support and care through a range of services, from residential rehabilitation to psychological services and community support.

In 2011 David was sadly diagnosed with a brain tumour which required surgery. Despite now having a partial disability, David continues to run the London Shop, including the local Shop in a Box scheme, which provides London fire stations with an excellent and hassle-free opportunity to generate funds.

Upon receiving the Points of Light award, David Roberts said: “Initially I thought, ‘why me?’ I was surprised to say the least, and very pleased! But it isn’t just me, I couldn’t do what I do without the support I get from London Fire Brigade – I use their office and storage space and their phones. Colleagues have also supported me, and my wife puts up with an enormous amount! Without close friends and family, my work wouldn’t be possible.”

Dr Jill Tolfrey, Chief Executive of The Fire Fighters Charity, said: “I am delighted that David has been recognised for this Points of Light award. He has done so much for the Charity and allowed us to provide thousands of beneficiaries with life-enhancing support. David’s tireless and selfless dedication to the Charity over almost half a century is an inspiration to us all and a reminder of how much we, as a Charity, are dependent on our often unsung volunteer heroes.”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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