THE MANAGER of the Co-operative food store at Mayfield Terrace, Arbroath, Christian Croll, took part in a fire walk with a festive theme in Aberdeen last Monday.
Brave Christian joined over 50 fellow Santas and walked across burning coals to raise a red hot £150 for the learning disability charity ENABLE Scotland.
Co-operative staff from the north-east and beyond took part in the fire walk which was held in the car park of the Co-operative Food Store at the Cornhill Shopping Centre in the city.
ENABLE Scotland’s corporate relations manager Jen Niven said: “The atmosphere was electric as people conquered their fear and did the impossible all to raise money for ENABLE Scotland. A huge congratulations to everyone who took part - it takes real will power and courage to walk across fire”.
ENABLE Scotland, and its sister charity Mencap, are The Co-operative Group’s Charity of the Year partners for 2011, and the group is raising money for the charities during the year, to help transform the lives and dreams of thousands of young people who have a learning disability.
The Co-operative’s support has allowed ENABLE Scotland and Mencap to launch a ground-breaking programme, called Inspire Me which will work with 20,000 people who have a learning disability to provide activities and training, together with volunteering and employment opportunities.
Mr Croll recounted his experience this week. He said: “I actually did a bit of research before the event and it looked like it was going to be an absolute doddle.
“In the article I read, the coals had been left all day and the walk was held at night to make it look more impressive and more dangerous. Unfortunately, when I got up to Aberdeen things had not been set up in that way.
“Then, half an hour before we were all to do our fire walk, the organisers put all these long bits of wood on fire - there were flames all over the place!
“I can assure you that no matter what I had thought before, it most certainly was not the ‘doddle’ I was expecting.
“When my turn came round there was a fair amount of heat and the coals were glowing. It was quite intimidating, a scary experience.
“They actually had someone walking next to me to ensure I did not walk too slowly and burn my feet.”
However, he felt it was all worthwhile and a great experience. He was delighted with the £150 sponsorship from staff and customers and is quite prepared to do it again.
The store has another fund-raising event today (Friday) and tomorrow when a Christmas raffle for a £50 voucher will take place with the proceeds again going top ENABLE.
Mr Croll concluded: “The fire walk was just one of many fund-raising events that are organised throughout the year.”