“As the daughter of a Firefighter and growing up living on a fire station, I have very close and personal feelings for the Fire Brigade.
My father started with nothing having been put in foster homes from the age of 2, and after serving with the 2nd Parachute Regiment during the war, he joined the London Fire Brigade and worked his way up from a fireman (as they were known then) to a senior position as Deputy Assistant Chief Officer of the Brigade.
I grew up seeing at first hand the mental stress that our firefighters face every day, and I saw my father doing what he could for his men to reduce the effects of that stress on their health and everyday life. I now feel that I have an opportunity to continue his ground-breaking work. Young firefighters face situations every day that no-one should have to face; they are going into situations that everyone else is trying to leave, and we expect them to deliver. Grenfell Tower was a dreadful reminder of what they face.
As a member of the Royal Berkshire Fire & Rescue Service Authority Board, and as Mayor, I have that opportunity, and with the full support of Trevor Ferguson, Chief Fire Officer of RBFRS, and of Cllr Colin Dudley, Chairman of the Authority, I am raising money in order to start a Mental Wellness & Post Traumatic Stress support service, based in Bracknell Fire Station, for the benefit of all the Firefighters in Berkshire.”