Temperatures soar as charity’s team takes on hot coals in Havant

The ship enters Portsmouth Harbour

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  • Fifteen brave volunteers and workers left with scorched soles in aid of a good cause
  • Event takes place outside national charity’s base in Havant
  • Over The Wall sends children with life-limiting illnesses on free therapeutic camps
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IT WAS a truly terrifying feat, but 15 brave charity workers and volunteers took it in their stride.

The group, who all work for Havant-based charity Over The Wall, walked over hot coals to raise funds and awareness for the good cause.

From left, Carolyn Hughes, Zoe Grant, Erin Power, and Rachael Robinson. Back, former Pompey goalkeeper Alan Knight 'Picture Ian Hargreaves  (151493-1)

From left, Carolyn Hughes, Zoe Grant, Erin Power, and Rachael Robinson. Back, former Pompey goalkeeper Alan Knight 'Picture Ian Hargreaves (151493-1)

The event, which took place outside the charity’s office at Basepoint Business Park in Havant, proved a hit among the group, despite leaving them with black soles.

And even the top boss, Kevin Mathieson, CEO at the children’s charity, took part with his team.

He said: ‘Our staff and some of our supporters did the fire walk to raise awareness for our charity and to raise some money to help send more children to our camps.

‘It was all a bit scary to begin with. The initial thinking is that you are going to burn, but when you go through it and understand the science behind it, it’s great fun.’

As children you are told to stay away from fire and that is what is ingrained in you. This challenges that.

Fire instructor Andy Clark, from Unite & Ignite

Activities co-ordinator Erin Power, from Liverpool, joined in the event with fellow workers Zoe Grant, head of volunteering from Woolston, Rachael Robinson, marketing and communications officer from Waterlooville, and Carolyn Hughes, press and communications officer from Southsea.

Erin, 23, said: ‘I’m really glad I did it. It was bit scary at first but it was very exciting.’

Carolyn, 50, said: ‘It was amazing. It was exciting, a little bit scary but when you are on the other side, you feel great.’

Pompey legends Alan Knight and ‘Touchline’ Tony Male also went along to cheer the team on from the sidelines and to show their support.

The hot course had been put on by company Unite & Ignite, from Shipley, and fire instructor Andy Clark was on hand to make sure everyone got across the coals safely.

He said: ‘It is a great achievement for people to take a fear that is learned and to conquer it. As children you are told to stay away from fire and that is ingrained in you. This challenges that, although around one in 20 people do get small blisters which go within a few days.’

Over The Wall was founded by actor Paul Newman and it has been operating in the UK since 1999. It provides children with life-limiting illnesses with free therapeutic recreation camps. For more go to otw.org.uk.