News from The Fire Fighters Charity

Shout! Magazine Winter 2021

The Winter 2021 issue of the Shout! Magazine is out now and available to read online and in the new app, MyFFC – along with new, exclusive videos.

This issue introduces the new wellbeing, fundraising and social media portal for the fire services community – giving readers a step-by-step guide on how to get started, while highlighting what they can expect to find once registered. It also covers all the latest news, shares more powerful stories from beneficiaries, introduces the new Covid Recovery Programme and shares expert advice on looking after joints and musculoskeletal health.

Read Shout! Magazine Winter 2021

Money raised from clothes recycling

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service has supported The Fire Fighters Charity by collecting over 469 tonnes of clothing for re-sell, re-use or recycling since 2010, generating an amazing contribution of £93,183 for the Charity.

Table 1 in the Clothes Recycling Performance Report (see link below), highlights the total income generated and total weight collected, since the clothing bank was first placed at the fire station.

View HFRS Clothes Recycling Performance Report 2010 to 2021.

Eastleigh College Lunch on Thursday 14 October 2021

Today was the PMA lunch at Eastleigh College, and what a good time was had by all.

The food and company were great, and the student team at the College were amazing. We were grateful to be back at the College for the first time since Covid restrictions have been eased.

If you weren’t able to join us, below are some photographs of the event.

The Book I Hope You Never Have To Read: Dealing With Childhood Cancer Written By A Parent Doing Exactly That

‘The Book I Hope You Never Have To Read…’ has been written by Chris Pearson, the son-in-law of Philip Griffiths, our Association’s former Treasurer.

Chris (and Phil) hope that this book might bring support and guidance to any of our members, their families and friends finding themselves in a similar situation. 

Phil gives some background to the book:

“Two years ago, two months before Christmas 2019, my then 3 year old granddaughter was diagnosed with leukaemia. This necessitated a long stay in Southampton General with her father continuously with her. Her father took the brunt of staying with her as my daughter was looking after an 8 month old sibling and keeping their business going.

My granddaughter is making progress but there is still a long way to go. Her father decided to write a book with the aim of getting some information, thoughts and guidance into the hands of people to hopefully help them through similar traumatic events by sharing some of his personal experiences and challenges.”

The book is only available to buy online through Amazon (£3.99 paperback version) or via the Amazon Kindle (£2.99). 

Seventy pence from every purchase will go to either of the charities ‘Cure Leukaemia’ or ‘Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group’. No monies are taken or received by anyone other than Amazon and the charities.

To purchase from Amazon

Click the link to purchase or find out more about ‘The Book I Hope You Never Have To Read’ https://www.amazon.co.uk/Book-Hope-Never-Have-Read/dp/B099TH7654/ref=kwrp_li_std_nodl

To purchase via Amazon Kindle

From your Kindle, go into ‘search’ and enter the title: ‘The Book I Hope You Never Have To Read’. This will bring the book up and if you wish to purchase click on ‘buy’.  

Funeral for Mark Harris on Wednesday 14 April 2021

Mark’s funeral is taking place on Wednesday 14 April at 1045 at Aldershot Crematorium.

Anyone wishing to pay their respects can now utilise the car park and stand inside the grounds of the crematorium, making sure to observe strict social distancing.

Due to timings of previous and following funerals, there is very little attendance time so anyone wishing to attend, please arrive at 1030. After the family have entered the chapel everyone else will need to leave promptly.

Hopefully, there will be a fire service attendance from Rushmoor, but please note this isn’t a Service funeral, attendance is to allow anyone who knew and worked with Mark to pay their respects.

If you wish to make a donation in memory of Mark, please visit: https://mark-richard-harris.muchloved.com

New website for The Hampshire Police and Fire Heritage Trust

The Hampshire Police and Fire Heritage Trust have launched their new website. Chair of the Trust, Alan House, said that that although there is still work to be done on the site, the decision was made to launch it as a source to provide heritage information related to the Fire and Rescue Service and to the Constabulary. It is hoped that this can be a useful portal for anyone doing research or who are just curious about the proud histories of both public services and how they have served the communities in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight over many decades. The Trust has strong ties with the PMA, with a number of its members involved on the weekly work days, building the exhibits and renovating the many artefacts in the collection.

There have been many changes and additions in the Trusts home at the Solent Sky museum as a whole over the past 6 months. The Fire and Police team are busy creating their third display room and they have been instrumental in the creation of a brand new World War 2 ‘Home Front’ experience area. Work on this is ongoing and it will be open to the public later this year – Covid restrictions permitting.

Being an independent museum, the restrictions over the past months have had a significant financial impact and as these restrictions lift, everyone looks forward to welcoming new and returning visitors.

Visit The Hampshire Police and Fire Heritage Trust website.

Hampshire Pension Services are changing the way they contact you

Hampshire Pension Services (HPS) are changing the way that they contact you, in order to lower the environmental impact of their business and to reduce costs.

Future payslips, P60s and newsletters from Hampshire Pension Services

You will receive your April and May 2021 payslips by post as usual. You will also receive a P60 by post if you paid any tax during the tax year 2020/21. However, HPS will not post you a payslip when there is a change to the amount that they pay during the year.

In future, HPS will not automatically send you paper copies of payslips, newsletters, or P60s by post. Your payslips and P60 will be available online. You will be able to view these through the Hampshire Pensions Member Portal and you will be able to print a copy from the Member Portal at any time if needed. The next annual newsletter will continue to be available on their website.

Opting out of online communications

You will need to write to HPS if you wish to opt out of online communications and instead receive paper copies as HPS cannot accept requests to opt out of online communications by telephone.

To register or sign in to the Hampshire Pensions Member Portal

To register or sign in to the Hampshire Pensions Member Portal, visit: https://upmliveportal.hants.gov.uk

If you have any issues registering or signing into the Member Portal, please contact Hampshire Pension Services by phone on 01962 845588 or by email to pensions@hants.gov.uk

Future changes in the Scheme Regulations

In addition, HPS will no longer send you written advice of future changes in the scheme regulations that may affect you. This information will be publicised via:

If you have provided HPS with an email address, they will send you an email to advise that a change in regulations has been made and that details can be viewed through the Member Portal or on their website.

Your health – consider a flu vaccination

It’s that time of year when the NHS makes available the flu vaccination for the at risk groups across the nation. With Coronavirus still lurking in the background it’s perhaps more important this year than any other for us ‘Baby Boomers’ and the retired youngsters from ‘Generation X’ to join the queue for the flu jab to protect each of us from this debilitating illness.

Clearly everyone has their own choice to make and it’s only right that, whether you do or do not wish to have the jab, you at least give it some clear thought right now.

The government wants to increase the number of people receiving the flu vaccination this year amid fears coronavirus cases could coincide with cold and flu season. In July, plans were announced to double the amount of people who receive the flu jab, from 15 million to 30 million.

Flu can be unpleasant, but if you’re otherwise healthy, it’ll usually clear up on its own in about a week. But flu can be more severe in certain people, such as:

  • anyone aged 65 and over
  • pregnant women
  • children and adults with an underlying health condition (such as long-term heart or respiratory disease)
  • children and adults with weakened immune systems

Anyone in these risk groups is more likely to develop potentially serious complications of flu, such as pneumonia (a lung infection), so it’s recommended that they have a flu vaccine every year to help protect them.

Whatever choice you make please stay safe and we look forward to times when communicating with each other includes actually being together again.

More information on the flu vaccine can be found on the NHS website.

London to Brighton Veteran Car Run 2019

Article provided by Phil Webb

Sunday 3rd November 2019 saw our first visit to the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run. Sadly we didn’t fill the coach but 35 intrepid members prepared to brave the forecast inclement weather. We need not have worried, the weather was wonderful with the rain only appearing whilst we were on the coach, as we alighted the sun came out – it was all down to careful planning!

Our first stop was at Hassocks Garden Centre where we enjoyed a hearty breakfast before most of us went to view the veteran cars……. I say most of us, because several of the ladies (led I’m told by Julie Cowmeadow ) stayed in the Garden Centre perusing the extensive displays – Julie did suggest we have another trip to the same Garden Centre and ignore the cars – philistine!

Many of us took the short half mile walk to Clayton Hill where we were within 2-3 feet of the cars as they struggled up the incline. Some didn’t quite make it and passengers were ejected to lighten the load, running up the hill or giving a push where necessary. Several intrepid cyclists on Penny Farthings struggled up the hill but few actually reached the summit under pedal power. 

There was an enormous range of cars, mainly fuelled by petrol but some still running on steam, most of the manufacturers of these early cars have disappeared, but there were several large Mercedes showing off their power as they overtook the smaller cars on the hill.

Around 1.30 pm we re-boarded the coach and drove into Brighton alighting on Marine Drive (just above the finish line). Here we could see the cars close up and see the drivers and their passengers celebrating their arrival. Champagne flowed – sadly not for us – we made do with fish and chips under the arches. At 4.30 pm  we boarded the coach for a leisurely drive home – listening to the comments it was clear that everyone had enjoyed themselves, for most this was their first visit.

Recycle with The Fire Fighters Charity

The Fire Fighters Charity has run a successful textile recycling scheme since 2008, in partnership with fire and rescue services and textile recycling companies across the UK, which today raises over £500,000 a year for the Charity.

So far this year (April to August 2019), Hampshire’s fire stations with a textile bank have raised £5633.76 for the Charity and diverted 25,608 kg of textiles from landfill. You can help by donating your old clothes

What you can donate to textile banks

  • Adult and children’s clothing
  • Socks
  • Coats
  • Underwear
  • Paired shoes
  • Handbags
  • Linen

Please NO bric-a-brac, plastic, toys or electrical items.

Find your nearest recycling bank

https://www.firefighterscharity.org.uk/get-involved/recycle-your-textiles/recycling-banks/