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Charity’s medical director will feel the heat

The medical director of a Shropshire charity will show he is not afraid to feel the heat when he takes part in an event next month.

Professor Derek Willis will be taking part in Severn Hospice’s Fire Walk event
Professor Derek Willis will be taking part in Severn Hospice’s Fire Walk event

Professor Derek Willis will be stepping up when he takes part in Severn Hospice’s Fire Walk event on February 25.

And he is asking hospice supporters to get behind him with his challenge.

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Along with dozens of other thrill-seekers, he will walk barefoot over red-hot coals at the event, which is being held in Shrewsbury.

Each coal will be burning at an average temperature of 1,236 degrees Fahrenheit.

Dr Derek is no stranger to fundraising for the charity, where he has worked for more than a decade. Over the years he had trodden the boards at Theatre Severn in several productions and late last year directed the hit show Art for Shropshire Drama Society.

“I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie,” he said, “so this is something I am really looking forward to.

“People know me for being quite theatrical, and if this isn’t the ideal opportunity to be dramatic, I don’t know what is.

“I am going to be stepping out of my comfort zone, but I know that the money I raise will help thousands of people who need our support and compassion.

“I know some people can’t take part in the event itself but if they would like to sponsor me on my JustGiving page, I would be delighted.

“I am passionate about the work we do at Severn Hospice and if I can help raise funds for the vital care we provide, I will.

“Severn Hospice doesn’t just offer clinical care, we also provide holistic care, not just for the patients we see but also for their families and wider social circle. Any donations, big or small, will allow us to continue to care for local people living with incurable illness when they need us most.

“I would be so grateful to anyone who supports me – their kindness really will keep me going.”

Spaces are still available for the event. Registration costs from £15 and participants must raise £100 in sponsorship. To find out more and sign-up go to https://events.severnhospice.org.uk/.

UK Firewalk, Britain’s leading fire walk organiser will be overseeing the event. There will be a motivational briefing prior to the event and trained staff and qualified first aiders will also be on hand.

“I know this is a safe event,” said Dr Derek, “Otherwise, believe me, I wouldn’t be doing it. UK Firewalk is renowned for its reputation, and I know that this is going to be a fabulous night. Please sign up and take part – it’s because you care that I can.”

To donate to Dr Derek’s JustGiving page go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/derek-willis2 Tracie Harrison, director of Income Generation at Severn Hospice said: “Derek has worked here at the hospice for many years and over that time has cared for and helped thousands of patients and their families. We would love it if they could support him with his fire walk challenge.”

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