In the Press

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Press Release: Baby, you float my boat!

Baby Stanley jumped ship and swapped his life saving baby incubator for a twenty one foot rowing boat today!

Little Stanley, his mam Amy and his firefighter Dad Steve met up with firefighters Paul Hopkins and Paul Towers from Tyne and Wear who have pledged to row the Atlantic to raise vital funds for two amazing charities, Tiny Lives and the Firefighters Charity.

Baby Stanley was born seven weeks early weighing only 3lbs 14oz and his mam and dad could comfortably hold him in just one hand.

The firefighters have watched Stanley’s parents ride an emotional roller coaster since his sudden birth and they decided to do something amazing to help Steve and Amy say thank you for the support they received during this difficult time.

The firefighters are training to be in peak physical condition to take on the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge which is deemed the world’s toughest row. They will row 3,000 nautical miles west from San Sebastian, La Gomera in December 2017, to Nelson’s Dockyard English Harbour in Antigua and it is expected to take them around 60 days to complete.

Firefighter Paul Hopkins said: “We will be rowing every two hours, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Battling thirty foot waves in tropical storms sounds like massive challenge but this is nothing compared to the struggle baby Stanley had endured to hold onto his life.”

Steve and Amy have had time to reflect on this difficult time and how well they were supported by the staff at the RVI and the Tiny Lives Charity.

Steve said: “Amy and I are so grateful to the staff at the RVI and the Tiny Lives Charity. Stanley survived because of these fabulous people and this amazing charity. We wanted to pay something back for the incredible work they do saving tiny lives and supporting parents who aren’t as lucky as us. When my colleagues decided to take on the challenge of this Atlantic Row I was absolutely astounded!”

Firefighter Paul Towers said: “You can only imagine what a difficult time this has been for these young parents, desperately peering through the glass of the incubator day after day, hoping little Stanley would have the fight to survive. Being trapped in this boat for 60 days is no hardship when you compare the struggle Stanley has had in his short life. He is definitely the inspiration and driving force behind us to succeed across the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean.”

Carol Meredith, Head of Tiny Lives, said: “Tiny Lives is in awe of this challenge and will be supporting the fearless firefighters throughout their months of preparation and training, and then the race itself. Their courage and strength mirror the bravery of premature babies and their families as they battle through weeks and sometimes months on the Special Care Baby Unit. We can’t thank the two Pauls enough for taking on such a fabulous fundraising feat for Tiny Lives!”

Margaret Barnes Smith, Regional Fundraiser of The Fire Fighters Charity, said: "We are delighted that these firefighters are taking on this huge challenge and raising funds for our Charity. It costs around £9m a year to meet the needs of our beneficiaries, so this funding is extremely welcome. This will make a positive difference by supporting people in the fire and rescue community when they are in need. We will be cheering them on every step of the way."

Chief Fire Officer, Tom Capeling, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said: “we are delighted that our staff are undertaking this incredible challenge to support a local charity whilst also supporting their colleagues via the Fire Fighters Charity. We wish them well and are supporting them in their preparations.”

Individuals can go to www.virginmoneygiving.com/atlanticdream17 to sponsor the team. Any contributions, no matter the amount will be gratefully received.

Corporate sponsors can also get involved by emailing the team on atlanticdream17@gmail.com

There are also numerous events you can get involved with and a range of corporate hospitality opportunities in the run up to the race including a Fire Fighters Charity Christmas Ball at the Lancastrian Suite, Dunston on Saturday 26 November 2016 and a craft fair at West Denton Fire Station, West Denton Way, Newcastle on Saturday 19 November between 11am – 2pm.

To find out more about upcoming events go to www.atlanticdream17.com

Follow their story on Facebook at atlanticdreamchallenge and on Twitter @atlanticdream17

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Baby Stanley in fire kit

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Amy, Stanley and Steve

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– L-R Paul Towers, Stanley, Paul Hopkins

NR-Logo2Press release: Fire powers the dream across the Atlantic

Two brave Firefighters from Tyne and Wear will be training to be in peak condition to compete in the world’s toughest rowing race across the Atlantic.

This dream team is made up from Paul Hopkins (age 51) and Paul Towers (age 43).

Preparing to row the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge takes a huge amount of dedication. The pair will be testing the limits of their physical and mental strength to achieve something unthinkable for two amazing charities, Tiny Lives and The Fire Fighters Charity.

The team will need to be in peak physical condition to row 3,000 nautical miles west from San Sebastian, La Gomera in December 2017, to Nelson’s Dockyard English Harbour in Antigua and it is expected to take them around xx days to complete.

Once they leave the safety of the harbour they’ll be on their own on the vast ocean and at the mercy of the elements, until the race comes into its final stretch.

And so the story begins as the harsh reality of the training regime kicks in.

“Life is too short to let this opportunity go by and I am going to give it everything I’ve got. It will be an amazing personal achievement for us all to make it to the finish line and we will be raising funds for two fantastic charities which are close to our hearts. The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is the world’s toughest row. Not only are we aiming to raise huge amounts for our dedicated charities, Tiny Lives and The Fire Fighters Charity but we are aiming to smash the world record as the fastest oldest team of four men to ever row the Atlantic.”

Firefighter Paul Hopkins of Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service

“Tiny Lives is in awe of this challenge and will be supporting the four, fearless firefighters throughout their months of preparation and training, and then the race itself. Their courage and strength mirror the bravery of premature babies and their families as they battle through weeks and sometimes months on the Special Care Baby Unit.  We can’t thank the two Pauls, David, and Jon enough for taking on such a fabulous fundraising feat for Tiny Lives!”

Carol Meredith, Head of Tiny Lives

"We are delighted that the team are taking on this huge challenge and raising funds for our Charity. It costs around £9m a year to meet the needs of our beneficiaries, so this funding is extremely welcome. This will make a positive difference by supporting people in the fire and rescue community when they are in need. We will be cheering them on every step of the way."

Margaret Barnes Smith, Regional Fundraiser of The Fire Fighters Charity

Individuals can go to www.virginmoneygiving.com/atlanticdream17 to sponsor the team. Any contributions, no matter the amount will be gratefully received.

Corporate sponsors can also get involved by emailing the team on atlanticdream17@gmail.com

There are also numerous events you can get involved with and a range of corporate hospitality opportunities during 2016/17 starting with an evening with Glenn McCory at West Denton Fire Station social club on Thursday 23 June 2016 and The Fire Fighters Charity Christmas Ball at the Lancastrian Suite, Dunston on Saturday 26 November 2016.

To find out more about upcoming events go to www.atlanticdream17.com

Follow their story on Facebook at atlanticdreamchallenge and on Twitter @atlanticdream17

AtlanticDream17

L-R – Firefighter TWFRS, Paul Hopkins, Firefighter TWFRS Paul Towers.

 

 

 

 

 

For further information and interview opportunities contact

Julie Knox,

Northern Reputation

mob: 07946355450.