HE is the firefighter who has taken on a mammoth endurance challenge in the name of charity.
Now, 60-year-old Jasper Taylor has completed the last leg of his charity cycle, which he has done on a static bike across a number of supermarkets in the city, cycling a total of 200km.
The firefighter has been raising money for the Fire Fighters Charity and the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth’s Charity Appeal – raising a total of more than £2,600.
Jasper – who has been a firefighter for 30 years – says that the fundraiser has been an enormous test of his endurance.
He said: ‘My legs don’t actually hurt as much as I thought they would – but my backside is another story altogether!
‘To have finally completed this challenge is an amazing feeling. The groups I am fundraising for were at the forefront of my mind throughout the challenge, and I am thrilled to have helped them so much.’
For the final stint of this journey, Jasper was joined by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Cllr Ken Ellcome.
Jasper said: ‘It was great to have the Lord Mayor come along and support the cause, and he certainly played his part, jangling the donation bucket in front of people.
‘All in all, I think it has been a massively successful fundraiser, and I cannot thank people enough for their support.’
However, the event is also an emotional one for Jasper, as it is likely to be his last solo fundraising drive.
He said: ‘Next month, I am finally retiring from life as a firefighter – which means I am probably done with doing my own fundraisers.
‘That being said, I will be helping out the other firefighters with some of their charity events. I just can’t help but try and do my bit.
‘I am proud to have served as a firefighter in the area for so long – I have absolutely loved doing this job and will sorely miss it.
‘Retirement has come along quite quickly. You always think that you have all the time in the world, and suddenly your career has come to an end.’
But the work isn’t quite finished for Jasper.
‘I’ve got the weekend off and then I’m back in on Monday’ he explained, ‘There’s no rest for the wicked, after all.’