A team of Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue (HWFRS) firefighters are determined to continue the fundraising legacy left by a former colleague, Stu Crebbin, who died in March at the age of 46 after a 12-month battle with cancer. 

Last August the ‘Stu’s Phoenix Challenge’ team undertook The Brecon Beacons 10 Peaks Traverse (East to West). Despite Stu being diagnosed with PTSD in Jan 2020, then colon-cancer in April 2020, having to undertake intense chemotherapy and immunotherapy sessions in the lead-up to the challenge, even these setbacks didn’t stop Stu from completing the majority of the challenge.

The final total raised last year was an incredible £11,384 for the Fire Fighters Charity. The spirit and zest for life Stu demonstrated and especially his dedication to the Firefighters Charity is something that Stu himself wanted to see live on. So, with this in mind the team are determined to maintain last year’s momentum and would like people to support this year’s event. 

Hereford firefighter Spencer Jones and 32 HWFRS colleagues have begun training in earnest to prepare for The Brecon Beacons 10 Peaks Traverse (West to East) this time on Saturday 7th August. This year’s event will be in memory of Stu Crebbin in aid of the Fire Fighters Charity. 

Commenting on the challenge and why they were raising money for the Fire Fighters Charity, Spencer Jones said: “Covid-19 restrictions meant that only family and a few close friends were able to pay their respects by attending Stu’s funeral, so this seems a fitting way to celebrate Stu’s life whilst raising money for a charity that was very close to his heart, and supported him and his family through his final weeks.  

Prior to Stu’s cancer diagnosis he was also diagnosed with PTSD and the charity were also there for him then offering their support and rehabilitation when he needed it most.  

 “Like with many charities across the UK Covid-19 has taken its toll on the Fire Fighters Charity’s fundraising capabilities.  It was Stu’s wish, with the full support of his family, that donations following his passing should be made to the charity, and that we continue his extraordinary legacy so other firefighters and their families can benefit.” 

The full Brecon Beacons 10 Peaks Traverse 24-hour challenge, involves climbing the 10 main peaks within the Brecon Beacons National park, around 42 miles of mountain terrain with 3,100 metres of ascent and the average 80kg person burning around 9,000 calories.  It’s often been described as mentally and physically challenging, but without doubt incredibly rewarding.

Stu’s sister, Sam Crebbin, will be there on the day of the event and is looking forward to seeing everyone and sharing great stories and special memories of her brother. The family hassaid: “Stu was dedicated to raising money for the Fire Fighters Charity and specifically asked for donations to be made to this charity on his behalf, we know he would fully support and love this event.  We would like to express how honored we are at this event being undertaken in memory of Stu, he thoroughly enjoyed this challenge himself in August 2020 and we are certain he will be with you and all that take on this 2021 challenge, so go and make him proud and keep the momentum going.”

Spencer concluded: “The outpouring following Stu’s death from fire and rescue services and colleagues across the country was overwhelming, and showed what a popular and inspirational individual he was – far beyond just the fire service he worked for.  He made his mark, genuinely cared for people and stood up for what he believed.” 

A Just Giving page has been set up inviting donations/sponsorship for the epic challenge https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/stusphoenixchallenge

If anyone would like to join ‘Stu’s Phoenix Challenge’ team and participate, or help with logistics, please contact Spencer Jones – sjones@hwfire.org.uk.