Strongarm Challenge sees £26,000 raised in tragic firefighter’s memory

People taking part in the Strongarm Challenge in memory of Peter Metcalfe after completing the Great North Run.
People taking part in the Strongarm Challenge in memory of Peter Metcalfe after completing the Great North Run.

Family, friends and colleagues have taken on a superhuman challenge in memory of a much-missed firefighter.

Peter Metcalfe, of West Boldon, died in 2012 aged 35 – just weeks after being diagnosed with stomach cancer.

Peter Metcalfe

Peter Metcalfe

His wife Angela married him two days before he sadly passed away at the chapel in the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle,.

Following his death, friends and even firefighters from neighbouring organisations have carried out fund-raising challenges in his honour.

This year’s event saw a group of people take on the gruelling Strongarm Challenge, which comprises of a four-day endurance test made up of swims, bike rides and climbs.

Organisers decided to make the last leg to run this year’s Great North Run half marathon.

Those taking part in the Strongarm Challenge in memory of Peter Metcalfe after a day of climbing the highest peaks in the Lake District.

Those taking part in the Strongarm Challenge in memory of Peter Metcalfe after a day of climbing the highest peaks in the Lake District.

Now, more than £26,000 has been raised from the 2018 attempt, meaning that over £120,00 has been raised since Peter’s death.

Tom Robson, 44, a firefighter at Peterlee station, was among those taking part.

“The extreme challenges saw us swim Lake Windermere, scale the four highest peaks in the Lake District and then cycle back from the Lake District more than 100 miles to Peter’s brother Warren’s home,” said Tom, of Easington Village.

“The ‘Day Four’ challenge was to run the Great North Run dressed in superhero outfits.

Those taking part in the Strongarm Challenge after swimming across Lake Windermere in memory of Peter Metcalfe.

Those taking part in the Strongarm Challenge after swimming across Lake Windermere in memory of Peter Metcalfe.

“This year we managed to get about 35 of us doing the run and it was a fantastic day.

“We got a lot of support from people.

“I’ve done a few marathons before but to see so many people out was amazing.”

Cash generated from the challenge will now be split between the Firefighters Charity and the If U Care Share Foundation, which helps families whose loved ones have taken their own lives.

“A lot of credit has to go to Warren for his effort in organising things because it’s a lot of work,” added Tom.

“He’s an ex-marine so he’s used to the challenges but he really is one of those blokes that everyone gets on with.

“Everyone loses someone who they love, but with Peter’s death coming so early in his life, his family have been brilliant in how they have tried to do something good in his name.

“It’s fabulous that so much money has been raised.”

Donations can still be made to the appeal in Peter’s memory by going to https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/strongarm