Sally is Firefighting Fit

Sally next to the map at the bottom of The Wrekin
Firefighter Sally Barnett makes her 52nd and final weekly charity walk up The Wrekin

A firefighter who feared she would never walk again after breaking her back in an accident will walk up The Wrekin for the final trip of a marathon 52 week challenge which has raised £1,500 for charity.

Sally Barnett will set off at 9am on Friday, June 20,  to complete a total of 52 walks up and down the Shropshire mountain over the past year wearing full firefighting kit and carrying a breathing apparatus cylinder weighing 17.5kg for a total distance of 85,280ft.

Not content with a full year of weekly climbs up The Wrekin, she has decided to do one bonus walk up Snowdon again, still in fire kit and breathing apparatus cylinder on June 29. Sally is keen to encourage anyone who would like to join her on any of her walks to come along.

As well as her weekly mountain walks over the past year, Sally was in training to become an operational firefighter at her local station. She is now an on call firefighter and the first female firefighter to join Market Drayton fire station.

It was June 28 last year when she decided to take on the challenge to raise money for the Firefighters Charity which helped fund her treatment when she broke her back in a horseriding accident seven years ago after a fall from a friend’s horse in a Bridgnorth field.

“A year ago it seemed like a huge challenge and the end result was such a long way away. I have met lots of lovely people on my walks. I even had photos with the Irish Regiment who were up there on exercise one day,” said Sally.

Many walkers have made donations on the way and others have been inspired to climb The Wrekin for the first time after hearing about Sally’s challenge.

Sally was spurred on with the support of partner Keith Burgess and colleague Neil Penny who joined her for many of the trips along with other friends, even on Christmas Day.

“On the days when I felt it was hard, they gave me the motivation to keep pushing.”

Sally recorded a personal best of 29mns and 43 secs and even made one sprint finish after her early journeys took 50 minutes with three or four stops for a rest.

“I firmly believe I would not be where I am today in terms of fitness without the help of The Firefighters Charity and their fantastic staff at the therapy centre I attended.

“To recover from such a life changing injury to the point where I have now achieved my dream of becoming an operational firefighter is the most satisfying feeling when others doubted I could actually do it.

“I owe them a lot and it is my pleasure to give something back in the fund raising that I do. I have raised around £1,500 in my challenge so far and I hope more will donate before the year is out.”

You can donate online at

Anyone who wants to join Sally on her final walk can meet at the gate at the bottom of The Wrekin near the car park at 9am on Friday.

Sally’s Wrekin year can be viewed at





17th June, 2014