FIREFIGHTERS are gearing up for a charity challenge in the Lake District to raise money for the family of a fallen colleague, Stephen Hunt.

Nine of Leigh station’s firefighters, along with two colleagues from Bolton, will tackle a 112-mile ride through some of the toughest climbs of the area.

They hope to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support and the family of Mr Hunt, who died while battling a fire in Manchester City Centre last year.

Allan Dowell, crew manager, said: “Quite a few of the firefighters have been affected or had family members diagnosed with cancer and received great support from Macmillan.

“Losing a fellow firefighter last year brought it home to us what could happen and so we decided to donate half the money we raise to The Stephen Hunt Memorial fund.

“The money will go directly to his family — the people he left behind.

“We want to raise awareness for both the charity and the fund and raise as much money as we can.”

The riders will set out on June 25 and will complete the ride in a day.

Mr Dowell added: “We have been training a lot together to prepare for the ride. The hardest bit is going to be crossing the highest peaks having already cycled one hundred miles.

"I’ve done something similar before but others haven’t and the idea is that the camaraderie will keep everyone going.”

To donate, go here or drop your donation into Leigh fire station.