Thai trip for Royston firefighters

FIREFIGHTERS and fire cadets from Royston have just returned from Thailand, where they helped change the lives of children in an orphanage.

The 17 made the trip to see the effects of �2,000 they had donated to the tsunami-hit area five years ago, while they also built swimming pools and took children on their first ever holiday.

The three week trip was funded completely by the travellers themselves, and featured �5,500 of raised money going towards the pools and the holiday.

Pete Chapman, a Royston firefighter whose charity Red Envelope organised the trip, said: “The cadets raised �2,000 to go to Thailand when they were about 12 and 13 years old by doing car washes and other things.

“They all paid for themselves to go back this year to see the play area that had been built for them, as well as give them some fun.”

The visitors built two round pools fully equipped with a water slide, on request of the orphanage’s owner.

“The owner of the orphanage had seen a water slide when she was in England, and asked us if we could build one.

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“Being firefighters we knew that anything was possibly, so we did it for them,” said Mr Chapman.

The main event of the trip was to take the children for a three night break at a Taiwanese national park, where they enjoyed elephant trekking and canoeing.

Mr Chapman expressed his thanks to the organisations that helped make the trip possible.

“Royston-based charity the Brian Leslie Racher Trust very kindly funded the accommodation for us,” said Mr Chapman.

“And we are very grateful to Hamleys, who donated toys for the children, and any local tradesman who had supported us.”

Almost all the people that went on the trip have now taken the chance to adopt a child, which means funding their education and basic living.