Firefighters come to the end of epic challenge

Shelton Barnes and his Teletubby alter-ego Tinky Winky

Actor who played Tinky Winky in Teletubbies has died

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PEOPLE were urged to give firefighters who have taken on a fundraising challenge a warm reception as they arrived back in Portsmouth.

Stuart Vince and Phil Jackson, of Cosham fire station, are due to complete their Big Donor Challenge at Gunwharf Quays at 3pm.

The pair rowed and cycled back from Penzance after they ran an average of 26 miles a day over 11 days from Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham, to Cornwall.

Mr Vince and Mr Jackson had planned to complete their return leg entirely on water but bad weather prevented that. They took on the challenge to get more people to sign the organ donor register.

Mr Vince has donated his kidney to friend Michael Paxman, 19.

The pair are raising £20,000, split between QA and Southampton General Hospital.

Their friend Julie Benford, 49, of Fareham said she hoped that many people would turn up to welcome them. ‘I’ve stayed in regular contact with them and they’ve found it tough but incredibly enjoyable at the same time,’ she said.