Firefighter brothers set for charity climbing challenge

Firefighter brothers are taking on an extreme endurance challenge at a Leeds tower in a bid to raise funds for charity.

FF Brothers Charity Climb

Military veterans and firefighters Kev and Mike Sutcliffe are undertaking the challenge to raise funds for The Grenfell Foundation and The Firefighters Charity.

Kev works for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) while his brother works for North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (NYFRS). The duo will be conquering Bridgewater Place as they climb 24 stories 72 times. The 24 storeys symbolise the height of Grenfell Tower, and the 72 times symbolises each life lost at the devastating tower fire in 2017.

They will be climbing over 69,000 steps - the equivalent of 67 Big Bens or 3/4 of the way to the summit of Mount Everest. The brothers aim to do this as a continuous relay on Saturday 17th June 2023, after the 6th anniversary of the Grenfell Tower Fire.

Father of two Kev, 43, from Pontefract said: “We had planned the challenge three years ago but then it couldn’t go ahead because of the pandemic. We tried to think of ways we could still do it – such as finding an outside location, but it just wasn’t possible. Then Mike asked me if I still fancied doing it, and I my first thought was ‘I’m three years older than when I first agreed to it – but go on, it’s for a good cause’. We both enjoy being active and have done Iron Man competitions and triathlons. This challenge will be a way for us to keep fit while raising money for good causes.”

Mike, 41, from Doncaster who also has two children said: “We are both always on the lookout for the next physical challenge to undertake. We wanted to take on an endurance challenge with a difference to raise money for two worthy charities that we respect and have a connection with.”

The brothers are both ex-military having served in the Royal Engineers. Since leaving the army the brothers both joined the fire service, in North and West Yorkshire both receiving the Silver Axe Award for finishing as the top recruit on their respective courses.

Howard Taylor from Grenfell Foundation, one of the charities the brothers are supporting, said: “We are grateful to Mike and Kev taking on this epic challenge for The Grenfell Foundation and The Firefighters Charity. It is essential for both affected communities and on the ground blue light service personnel to get the right support following any tragedy, and funds raised through this challenge will go a long way to supporting this in regards to Grenfell.”

Leeds’ Bridgewater Place is not only an office and residential skyscraper but holds the record for Yorkshire’s tallest building.

John Roberts, Chief Fire Officer at WYFRS, said: “Kev and Mike are undertaking a gruelling challenge for two amazing and very worthy charities that are close to the heart of all firefighters. I'd urge everyone to get behind them and support them in their fund raising. I am sure they'll smash it!”

For more information or to donate visit follow #keepclimbing72 on twitter and instagram or check out their KeepClimbing72 YouTube channel.