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From Kent to Ghent
Published:  29 April, 2016

Fire & Rescue magazine editor supports firefighting charity in challenging international cycle ride.

Ann-Marie Knegt will be cycling from East Malling in Kent, UK to Ghent, Belgium to raise money for Operation Florian.

Operation Florian is a UK-based humanitarian charity that promotes the protection of life amongst communities in need worldwide by the provision of equipment and training to improve firefighting and rescue capabilities.

The ride will take three days (May 12-14) over a route stretching over 300km and with some tough challenges to be faced during all stages.

During the first day, Ann-Marie and a team of 34 riders will cross the Kent Downs on the way to Dover, where they will catch the ferry and sail to Dunkirk. From there on they will head towards Bruges.

‘I chose this charity because, as editor of an international firefighting magazine, I often receive requests for help from firefighters in less fortunate areas and over the years have forwarded many of these to Operation Florian,’ said Ann-Marie: ‘Amongst other things Operation Florian reconditions old fire engines to full working order and sends them to the places on the planet that need them most. Recently the charity also became involved in firefighting training and fire safety awareness in refugee camps, since fires are a massive issue in these cramped and very unsafe environments.’

Ann-Marie is very excited to raise money for Operation Florian. ‘This amazing charity consists purely of volunteers, firefighters and fire service staff, so none of the donations will go towards the salaries of CEOs. By making a donation people will help not just fire services in deprived areas all over the world, but their communities as well. Your donation will go very far.’

Steve Jordan, a fire officer at Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, has been an active member of Operation Florian for 11 years and during this time has worked on projects in Bosnia, Montenegro, Paraguay, Ecuador, Bulgaria and Macedonia: ‘Operation Florian was set up by British firefighters who wanted to share their knowledge and experience with those parts of the world that suffer from fire and emergency situations, and don’t have the equipment or training to save lives.’

You can follow Ann-Marie’s progress on: http://www.meninlycra.co.uk/

Donations gratefully received here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/KenttoGhent

For more information on Operation Florian, visit: http://www.operationflorian.com/