GLOUCESTERSHIRE firefighters have completed their county-wide challenge to raise funds to fight cancer.

The 'Great Gloucestershire Bed Push' saw a team of firefighters set off on Friday, September 7 from Lydney fire station, pushing a custom-made wooden hospital bed 160 miles around the county,

They arrived six days later at the Gloucestershire Oncology Unit at Cheltenham General Hospital and have so far raised more than £15,000 for the Unit.

The team set off as early as 6.30am, going from fire station to fire station, pushing the hospital bed on the streets.

They visited 21 fire stations in total including stops at Cirencester, Tetbury, Wotton, Dursley, Nailsworth and Stroud.

Dressed in hi-visibility jackets and carrying buckets, the firefighters received warm welcomes everywhere, with people putting money in the buckets, and drivers tooting their support as they pass by.

Rob Bunting, the station manager with Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, who came up with the idea, said: "Everybody I know has lost loved ones to cancer - I lost my dad and my nan to it - or has had some personal experience of the disease.

" I wanted to think of something that would raise a significant amount of money to help.

"I had the crazy idea of pushing a hospital bed around the county, and emailed everyone in the organisation to see if anyone would be interested in taking part.

"I got so many replies - 300 - right back from people saying they wanted to be involved, that it crashed my inbox.

"But that's exactly what I'd expect for Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, it's such a lovely organisation.

Councillor Andrew Gravells, chairman of Gloucestershire County Council, said:

"I'm very proud of our Fire and Rescue Service. We all know somebody who has been touched by cancer. As somebody who has received both chemotherapy and radiotherapy at the Cheltenham Centre myself I personally appreciate this challenging and imaginative fundraiser.”

To make a donation to support the GFRS bed push visit