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Valentine’s event to warm your soles

Last night (Sunday 13 February), an event involving a barefoot walk over red-hot coals raised over £6,000 in vital funds for a Sussex-based veterans’ charity.

Twenty-four eager but slightly apprehensive fundraisers took part in the Valentine’s Firewalk at Thomas A Becket Pub in Worthing. They walked over wood embers measuring around 800 degrees to support Care for Veterans. The charity provides care and rehabilitation to disabled ex-armed forces personnel from its 60-bed facility on Boundary Road. The event was sponsored by local estate agents, Aspire Residential.

Participants explained why they decided to step out onto the burning embers to complete the challenge:

Sam Woodger, said: “As it’s my birthday and I am 18 months free of cancer, I decided to support this very worthwhile local charity.”

Britton & Time Solicitors, Lissie, Theresa and Sophie, bravely took the challenge and didn’t let fear inhibit their actions, walking safely across hot coals to meet their fundraising target. They said: “It was great, it was so much fun and really exhilarating. The team at Britton and Time Solicitors is really proud to support Care for Veterans to help provide care and rehabilitation for ex-military personnel with neurological and medical disabilities.”

Lou Wilkins, who completed the challenge, said: “I’ve got to be honest I was both excited and nervous, but I am humbled to be supporting such an amazing cause. On a personal note, I can’t think of anything better to challenge myself physically and mentally. After all, if I can do this, then I can achieve anything without my self-doubt holding me back.”

Christine Gillott, Senior Fundraising at Care for Veterans, said: “It was a ‘burning’ desire to make 2022 my ‘hottest’ year yet. I joined our amazing supporters and faced my fears to support the residents at Care for Veterans, who face the toughest challenge of their lives. Many of them would love to participate in the Firewalk but are prevented by their disabilities. Thank you to everyone who took part and our sponsors, Aspire Residential. The proceeds from this event will help ensure our disabled ex-military personnel get specialist care and rehabilitation they need to improve their lives and regain their independence.”

All proceeds will support Care for Veterans to provide its comprehensive and high standard of care to help disabled veterans achieve their rehabilitation goals.

Current residents are aged between 36 and 101 years old, and the majority have Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) or a degenerative neurological condition, such as multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease and Parkinson’s.

The charity receives no regular Government funding and must raise over £1.5 million each year to maintain its nursing and rehabilitation services for ex-Service personnel and their immediate families. It provides services such as nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech and language therapy to help rehabilitate those who live there to live more independent lives.

For more information about Care for Veterans, visit, call 01903 213458 or email

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