Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Tillingham crews raise thousands for charity

Firefighters from Tillingham fire station pulled together on November 16 to raise in excess of £5000 for charity the Dystonia Society in honour of local girl Ella Middleton.

Over 50 people turned up to follow the team as they dragged their 13 ton fire engine for seven miles from the Co-Op in Burnham all the way to The Square in Tillingham. The firefighters were driven to attempt the event after being moved by the story of local teenager Ella, whose life changed dramatically after being diagnosed with Dystonia aged just 14.  Once a keen footballer and dancer, now at age 15 the debilitating illness has left Ella struggling with everyday tasks most would take for granted.

Firefighter Nick Duncan organised the event as he wanted to help this brave young girl in her mission to generate greater awareness of Dystonia and in the process raise money for the Dystonia Society with the hope that one day a cure will be found.

Watch Manager John Maddocks said: “It’s about creating memories, not living for dreams, and this memory will be with the community for a long time.”

Of course long term awareness of Dystonia in the community was not the only thing raised; donations poured in from generous individuals and businesses, with the local branch of Co-Op supermarket giving the largest donation of £500 as well as fuelling the firefighters with chocolate, bananas and energy drinks.

“We’d like to give a big thank you to the Co-Op’s regional store team for their help, to everyone who generously gave a donation, the Community Safety Team and the Burnham firefighters for their support and of course to the pulling team for their blistering effort” said John, “The money and awareness raised by the event is great for Ella, her friends and family, and the whole community.”

East Area Commander Matt Furber added: “The turn out on the day was excellent, not only have we raised a terrific amount of money for a wonderful young lady, but we have put Tillingham Fire Station firmly into the hearts and minds of the community it serves. The event was an outstanding example of the tenacity and dedication of service employees.”

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Watch Manager John Maddocks said “The money and awareness raised by the event is great for Ella, her friends and family, and the whole community.”

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