Firefighters brave the elements to honour former colleague

A team of Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue (HWFRS) firefighters braved the elements on Saturday (7 Aug) to remember a friend and former colleague who lost a battle with cancer earlier this year.

Last year, Stu Crebbin, who died in March at the age of just 46, was part of the team which undertook The Brecon Beacons 10 Peaks Traverse (East to West), raising an incredible £11,384 for the Fire Fighters Charity.

This year, to honour Stu’s memory and to support a cause dear to his heart, Hereford firefighter Spence Jones led 32 HWFRS colleagues, joined by Stu’s sister Sam Crebbin, to complete The Brecon Beacons 10 Peaks Traverse (West to East) .

The challenge involved climbing the 10 highest peaks within the Brecon Beacons National park, around 42 miles of mountain terrain with 3,100 metres of ascent and the average 80kg person burning around 9,000 calories.

“The conditions were pretty severe at times with torrential rain and gales meaning that everyone wore waterproofs all day, however all 33 participants who set off at 5 am completed the event at around 11:30 pm, an incredible achievement,” said Spence.

“It was a fantastic effort all round and I’d like to thank everyone who took part, not least the essential logistical support team.”

So far Stu’s Phoenix Challenge has raised £5,050.00 for the Fire Fighters Charity. But the fundraising efforts are far from over.

Spence continued: “There are six car washes arranged across the Service over the next five weeks, five in Herefordshire & Worcestershire and another in Stu’s home town, Hartlepool, all in aid of the Fire Fighters Charity. We are confident that we’ll surpass last year’s fundraising total.”

Spence added: “Stu’s memory will live on long into the future with annual Phoenix Challenges, the planning for next year’s event has already started.

“Stu was dedicated to raising money for the Fire Fighters Charity and the outpouring following his death from fire and rescue services and colleagues across the country was overwhelming.

“He made his mark, genuinely cared for people and stood up for what he believed so it’s only right for us to keep that legacy going.

“We’re still taking sealed bids over £5,000 for blacksmith Steven Cooper’s incredible 1.8m phoenix – anyone interested can contact me

The Just Giving page Stu’s Phoenix Challenge 2021 is still open for contributions at


1: The Stu’s Phoenix Challenge team make light of the terrible conditions at the top of Pen-y-Fan on Saturday.

2: Spence Jones with Sam Crebbin at the top of Pen y Fan