CHARITY car washes held by fire stations across the county have been cancelled due to worries of water shortages.
The annual event is always popular within the community and raises thousands of pounds for the Fire Fighters Charity.
But the organisation says it has been forced to cancel the events because of a possible hosepipe ban. The charity said it has been advised by several water companies and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service to cancel any organised car washes.
Several fire stations, including Cosham, Havant and Emsworth had arranged one for this weekend.
Firefighter Perry Dodgson, of Cosham fire station, said: ‘It’s disappointing we’ve had to cancel as they are always well-supported. It’s a great way to raise money because people in the community get something back – they get a clean car. People always donate generously, which is why it’s a great idea.’
In Hampshire alone events like the one at Fareham fire station, pictured on the front page, raise £10,000 for the charity, which supports firefighters and their families.
This year the charity said stations could hold the car washes on any weekend in March and September.
Regional fundraiser Pauline Tyldesley said: ‘The national car wash provides a vital source of income for our charity, as well as being a fun event with a serious safety message. But we totally understand the position of the water authorities given the possibility of a drought.
‘The knock-on effect of this decision will have a huge impact on the charity’s fundraising income.
‘We are therefore appealing to supermarkets to allow their local firefighters to carry out collections at their premises, or assist with bag packing during the month of March – to help us fill the fundraising void.’ The car washes also support other charities. Firefighters in Southsea were due to hold one for children’s hospice Naomi House.
Keith Wilson, communications officer for the hospice, said: ‘It’s disappointing these ones can’t go ahead.
‘The fire service is imaginative and enterprising, and so I’m sure they will think of something else.’