Hertfordshire firefighter with PTSD takes on ‘world’s toughest race’

Firefighter Lee Crake is running the Marathon des Sables to raise money for The Fire Fighters’ Chari

Firefighter Lee Crake is running the Marathon des Sables to raise money for The Fire Fighters’ Charity. Picture: Nicola Crake - Credit: Nicola Crake

A firefighter diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder due to horrific things he has witnessed is set to take on one of the world’s toughest races to raise money for a charity which provides mental health support to firefighters.

Lee Crake, who lives in Stevenage and is a Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service watch commander based in St Albans, will take on the Marathon des Sables to raise money for The Fire Fighters’ Charity.

Competitors in the ultra-marathon, which starts in southern Morocco on Friday, must run 250km – 156 miles – over six days through the Sahara desert. They must carry all their own food and equipment with them.

Lee said: “I was diagnosed with PTSD some time ago mainly due to some of the terrible things I have seen with my eyes and the brain cannot forget.

“The Fire Fighters’ Charity provides both physical and mental support to firefighters and their families throughout the UK.

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“Exposure to some events can cause an individual to act eractically, and the hardest battle is to admit you have an issue and accept support. The Fire Fighters’ Charity provides this support.

“Your donation will help ensure the firefighters who support your communities 24 hours a day, 365 days a year will continue to recieve the physical and emotional support we may need at some time in our career.”

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Lee said the charity is radically expanding its mental health support services.

He explained: “In the wake of last year’s tragedy at Grenfell Tower and the terror attacks in Manchester and London, awareness of the need for mental health support for all our emergency services personnel has been heightened.

“However, The Fire Fighters’ Charity has seen an increasing demand for its mental health services for some time, and enhancing the psychological therapy and mental wellbeing services that its beneficiaries are eligible to access has been central to its onward plans for some time.”

He added: “I have chosen the Marathon des Sables as it is considered to be the toughest race on the planet and will play a huge part in my mindset.

“Please give generously as this will help drive me on.”

To sponsor Lee, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/lee-crake1.

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