Firefighter is honoured for his fundraising

Picture: Steve Deeks

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AN inspirational firefighter who has raised more than £100,000 for charity and put on parties for thousands of pensioners has been honoured with a trio of awards.

Kevin ‘Jasper’ Taylor’s fundraising efforts were celebrated at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Celebrating Success event with the Chairman’s Award accolade.

Jasper Taylor with colleagues on a recent fundraising exploit where he cycled 200 static miles for charities

Jasper Taylor with colleagues on a recent fundraising exploit where he cycled 200 static miles for charities

The 60-year-old, who has spent three decades generating huge sums for charity, also won the Sports and Social Award and the Hampshire Fire Fighters Charity Award.

The former Southsea crew manager, from Portchester, said: ‘I don’t know exactly how much I raised because I never kept a tally.

‘Every time I did another event I would look at it as a one off but then if it went well I would want to arrange it again.

‘I was really moved by the work of the Fire Fighters Charity, which I had first-hand experience of, and I just wanted to give something back to help others,’ he added.

The dad-of-three is best known for his pensioners’ Christmas parties, which started off in a small room at Southsea Fire Station but were moved to the Pyramids Centre and later Portsmouth Guildhall.

Last year more than 350 people came along.

He has also worked closely with the Beneficial Foundation, which teaches independent living and job skills to those in need, and Portsmouth City Council to help others.

The awards were given out on at Hampshire Constabulary’s training headquarters in 
Netley.

Mr Taylor added: ‘I was trembling when I was called up to get the Chairman’s Award, I was absolutely gobsmacked.

‘I still can’t believe it. I came here expecting to win nothing but I seem to have hit the jackpot.’

It is the first time more than one award has been won by the same person.

Southern regional fundraiser Kerry James said: ‘Jasper has worked tirelessly over 25 years supporting the charity through various activities, engagement with the crew and the community resulting in thousands of pounds being raised for the Fire Fighters Charity.

‘It has been my honour to work with Jasper who always goes beyond the call of duty and has helped so many people.’