Action stations as crews raise thousands climbing Royston scaffolding tower for girl with cerebral palsy

The team with Poppy during a five minute break. PICTURE: David Hatton.

The team with Poppy during a five minute break. PICTURE: David Hatton. - Credit: Archant

Firefighters braved the wind, rain and sleet in Royston on Saturday to climb the height of Mount Everest for a young girl with dyskinetic cerebral palsy.

The team with Poppy. PICTURE: Nick Gilks.

The team with Poppy. PICTURE: Nick Gilks. - Credit: Archant

Initially the whole-time and retained crews from Royston, and retained firefighters from Baldock were due to take part in the ladder climb up the scaffolding tower, but a whole fleet of firefighters from across North Herts joined in for six-year-old Poppy Cundy.

There was added help from crews stationed in Hitchin, Baldock and Letchworth, and Buckinghamshire – as well as from the fire cadets.

Retained firefighter Jordon Gilks said: “If you had asked me on the morning of the event if I thought we would complete the 8,848m climb in just under six hours, and that we’d have to brave the wind, rain and sleet to do it, I would of probably asked if you were joking. I thank you all – especially the public for their generosity. I’d like to thank Tesco and their store manager Cliff Ingles for allowing us to use their car park and for supplying us with food and drink all day.”

The team took part in the charity climb to help raise funds towards the £12,000 Poppy’s family are trying to raise to buy her a walking aid to help her muscles develop and eventually help her stand and walk.

During the climb. PICTURE: David Gilks.

During the climb. PICTURE: David Gilks. - Credit: Archant

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Poppy’s dad Rob Cundy said: “It was an amazing effort by all the firefighters to climb so high in less than six hours.

“Thanks to them and Tesco for hosting it. Most of all thank you to everyone who pledged money on the day. Every penny counts and will go towards equipment and physio for Poppy to help her development.

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“She is a determined little girl and with time hopefully she will eventually sit unaided and walk.”

Crew commander Derek Hutton said: “Apart from being incredibly sore I’m extremely proud of what we have all achieved with the weather conditions we were faced with.”

Poppy’s story is only just starting, if you’d like to follow it on Facebook, then search for ‘Help Poppy Walk’. To sponsor them, go to

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