Erin and Ethan are the dream team in charity cycle ride

112765-578 FIRE RIDE (JT) MRW 6/8/2011' 'Ethan  Morris (7) and Erin Morris (10) organised a charity bike ride......and run for some ...to raise funds for Fire Fighters Charity and were well supported as they set off from Emsworth Fire Station '''Picture: Malcolm Wells (112765-578)
112765-578 FIRE RIDE (JT) MRW 6/8/2011' 'Ethan Morris (7) and Erin Morris (10) organised a charity bike ride......and run for some ...to raise funds for Fire Fighters Charity and were well supported as they set off from Emsworth Fire Station '''Picture: Malcolm Wells (112765-578)
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IT was quite a spectacle as a fire engine escorted a group of charity riders and runners through the streets of Emsworth, Havant and Cosham.

Leading the pack were gutsy Erin Morris, 10, and her brother Ethan, seven, who both showed maturity beyond their years by organising the charity event.

The pair showed grit and determination to cycle 11 miles, accompanied by firefighters who chose to either cycle or run the course.

The journey started at Emsworth fire station, then it was off to Havant fire station, then to Cosham fire station, before the home-run back to Havant.

Erin, who attends Riders Junior School in Leigh Park, said seeing the bright red fire engine spurred her on to the finish line.

As reported in The News, Erin wrote to Havant fire station as she wanted to raise cash to help families affected by the Shirley Towers blaze in Southampton last year, which claimed the lives of Hampshire firefighters Alan Bannon and James Shears.

Firefighters were more than willing to help and worked with Erin to arrange the charity cycle ride.

Erin, whose dad Ian lives opposite Havant fire station in Park Way, said: ‘It was absolutely excellent and good fun. It went well.

‘It was hard work, but when I saw the fire engine at the front, it made me not want to give up. I had to do it.’

Firefighters from Emsworth, Havant and Cosham took part in the event and many carried buckets to collect donations from the public.

Firefighter Phil Lamb, a retained firefighter at Emsworth, said: ‘The public were positive and encouraged us.

‘The children were fantastic.

‘They hung on until the end, they dug in and were so committed.

‘It was great for the firefighters to get out and interact with members of the public and get to meet other firefighters from Havant and Cosham.’

The ride has raised a total of £600 for The Fire Fighters Charity.

Mr Morris, 50, who watched his children from the fire engine, said he was a very happy dad.

‘It made me proud,’ he said.

Perry Dodgson, crew manager at Emsworth fire station, added: ‘They are little role models.’

Erin laughed: ‘When we had done the ride, we ached.

‘We rested for five minutes, but then we were back out on our bikes again!’