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Mid and West Wales firefighter scoops prestigious Spirit of Fire Award for Christmas No.1 bid

Firefighter Chris Birdsell-jones from Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service has today won a prestigious Spirit of Fire award at a virtual ceremony held by The Fire Fighters Charity and introduced by His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge.


Winning the Supporter of The Year: Firefighter award at the Charity’s virtual awards ceremony, Chris was recognised for his masterminding of The Fire Tones bid for Christmas No.1 in 2018 with their cover of the Band Aid classic Do They Know It’s Christmas.The award was announced on the night by former England striker and current Director of Football at Queens Park Rangers, Les Ferdinand MBE.


His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge introduced The Fire Fighters Charity’s virtual Spirit of Fire Awards via a recorded video message.


Opening the ceremony The Duke spoke of the challenges faced by fire service personnel in the wake of Covid-19, reiterating why it’s so important that they know where to turn when they need support themselves.


The Duke also announced the first award of the evening – the Special Recognition Award for Excellence in The Field of Mental Health –recognising the achievements of winner Shilla Patel, Inclusion Manager at London Fire Brigade.


A further 13 awards were announced by a host of famous faces over the course of the evening, including: Brian May CBE, Jason Watkins, Michael Sheen OBE, Dame Julie Walters DBE, Simon Day, Reverend Kate Bottley, Dame Katherine Grainger DBE, Adam, Hills,Clare Balding OBE, Susanna Reid, Maddie Moate and Greg Foot.


The Spirit of Fire Awards recognise the fundraising and awareness-raising achievements of members of the UK’s fire services community in their support of The Fire Fighters Charity, as well as the courage of the Charity’s beneficiaries in the face of personal adversity.


Usually held in London, with a reception at No.10 Downing Street, the coronavirus pandemic meant that the Charity took the awards ceremony online in 2020 for the first time.


The Fire Fighters Charity Chief Executive, Dr Jill Tolfrey, said of Chris’s award: “I am delighted that Chris has been recognised for all that he did with The Fire Tones, not only did the single raise huge sums for us, but it also helped to raise awareness of who we are and the need to support the physical and mental wellbeing of fire and rescue service personnel. It was a monumental effort and required incredible hard work, so congratulations Chris.”