Gallery: Firewalkers beat their fears at Jimmy’s Farm

Daring fundraisers were out in force for possibly the shortest sponsored walk in history, hot-footing it across 20ft of burning coals.

More than 20 people took on the challenge at Jimmy’s Farm in Wherstead, Ipswich, to help raise a fantastic �8,250 for the Dame Vera Lynn Trust, which cares for children with cerebral palsy.

But the charity expects that once the figures are added up, the event will have raised �10,000 – a fitting way to celebrate their 10th anniversary.

Celebrity farmer Jimmy Doherty was one of the daredevils who took on the challenge of walking across the 800C coals, after having a two-hour training session to prepare.

“I was the first firewalker to do it after the demonstrator, but they really pump you up and get you motivated, and you just go across without thinking too much about it,” he said.

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“It’s really strange because I couldn’t feel any heat at all, it was almost like walking on a carpet. It was more painful walking back across the gravel afterwards with no shoes and socks on.

“I was quite nervous for this one because there’s something very unnatural about putting your feet on hot coals but there’s no tricks involved, it’s just the speed that you go at which is quite important.

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“I think everyone should have a go. It’s great to raise money but also it’s quite a good thing to do – it’s a personal achievement, and the training was very good as well in building your confidence up and teaching you how to overcome fear.”

More than 50 friends, family and spectators joined together to cheer the firewalkers on at the event last week and many of those taking part enjoyed it so much they went back for a second turn.

Volunteer Dan Cozens, who raised more than �300 for the charity, said: “There was a really good turnout and it was great fun – I really enjoyed it.

“I hadn’t given it a lot of thought until I was driving to the farm and it dawned on me that I would be walking on fire in a couple of hours. But there was never any doubt that I would do it.

“It’s hard to describe what it was like – the first time I did it, I think I did it a bit too slowly. You could feel the heat but it was almost like walking through snow – it’s a similar kind of sensation under foot because it’s crispy and crunchy. But the biggest thing was that we all ended up with very, very dirty feet!”

The charity, which runs the School for Parents in Sproughton, has announced it will hold another firewalk at Jimmy’s Farm in October.

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