Charity day raises £2,700 at event held to celebrate the life of former Cambridgeshire fire officer

16:46 07 February 2014

Charities benefit from service celebration. FireFighters Charity donation – left: Nicky Hoad, Justin Witt, Alison Witt, Matthew Witt, Stuart Kirkby.

Charities benefit from service celebration. FireFighters Charity donation – left: Nicky Hoad, Justin Witt, Alison Witt, Matthew Witt, Stuart Kirkby.

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Fire service staff raised more than £2,700 for charity at an event celebrating the life of a former fire officer from east Cambs.

Charities benefit from service celebration. Papworth Hospital donation  left :  Marion Papadopoulo from 
Papworth hospital, Justin Witt, Alison Witt, Matthew Witt, Nicky HoadCharities benefit from service celebration. Papworth Hospital donation left : Marion Papadopoulo from Papworth hospital, Justin Witt, Alison Witt, Matthew Witt, Nicky Hoad

Representatives of The Fire Fighters Charity and Papworth Hospital received cheques from event organiser Nicky Hoad at Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service’s headquarters in Huntingdon.

The fun family event, which took place in October at Milton Community Centre, South Cambs, saw more than 100 people attend to celebrate the life of Paul Witt, a station commander at CFRS, who sadly died in 2012.

Nicky, watch commander at CFRS’ Combined Fire Control, said: “I was completely blown away by the generosity and support of everyone involved in raising such an amazing amount of money for the two charities.

“The success of the event shows how highly thought of Paul was by the people he worked with. He was such a very special person to us all and is very sorely missed. He will always remain in our thoughts.”

At the cheque presentation on Monday Paul Witt’s family also attended and showed their support for the two charities.

Stuart Kirkby, from The Fire Fighters Charity, said: “Generous donations such as this are gratefully received and help tremendously towards funding the benefits that are provided by the charity to the fire service community and their families.”

Kate Lancaster, Corporate Services Director at Papworth Hospital, said: “We feel honoured to be one of two charities to benefit from fundraising efforts at this celebration organised by Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service. The money will go towards supporting our life-saving services here at Papworth Hospital.”

Mr Witt died while on duty, following a road traffic collision in Brentwood in Essex on October 4, 2012. He was aged 59. It is thought that he had taken ill shortly before the collision. No one else was injured.

A fire engine from Cambridge Fire Station, crewed by retired firefighters followed the hearse from his home village of Burwell. The retired firefighters worked alongside Paul when he was a control operator at Parkside Fire Station, before the control room was moved to Fire Service Headquarters in 1986.

They were met at the chapel by a Guard of Honour and a standard bearer carrying a CFRS flag. Four pallbearers then carried the coffin, which had Paul’s cap placed on it, into the chapel to the theme to `Morse’ by Barrington Pheloung.

Tributes were paid by Justin Witt, Paul’s son, and Graham Stagg, Chief Fire Officer for CFRS.

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