Aspray is thrilled and amazed to have been shortlisted by The Firefighters Charity for an award as Corporate Supporter of the Year, in the charity’s Spirit of Fire Awards 2020, to mark our contribution to fundraising and the commitment of our entire property claims management team.

Aspray has supported this most worthy charity since late 2018, and we have so far raised over £8,000.  We now find ourselves shortlisted in one of 12 categories and with a one-in-four chance of being named the Corporate Supporter of the Year.  What now awaits is a virtual awards ceremony, hosted on YouTube, on November 4.

Why our property claims managers support The Firefighters Charity

The Spirit of Fire Awards mark the incredible support shown to The Firefighters Charity by both its supporters and its beneficiaries and we are proud to be involved.  As part of our role, we send loss assessors out to the scenes of many extinguished fires, each year, as we negotiate on behalf of the insurance policyholder and become their voice within negotiations with the insurer. Typically, such negotiations are with the insurer’s representative, which is usually a loss adjuster.

As a property damage claims manager, seeing the devastation that can occur in the aftermath of a fire is always a stark reminder of the bravery of firefighters across the UK, which is why, here at Aspray, we decided to make The Firefighters Charity our official, nominated charity, supported by our entire network, as well as our head office team.

Who benefits from The Firefighter Charity?

The beneficiaries of The Firefighter Charity’s activities are both serving and retired firefighters, but also other members of staff, who currently work in any role within the service, or have done so in the past.  This includes control room staff, who are often the ones talking to distressed property owners. The charity supports the mental, physical and social needs of all of the people who are, or who were, part of the service and who require its support. It also extends that support to their spouses, partners and dependants.  

What we love is the fact that the support is personalised and created to suit the needs of the individual. It might be delivered through telephone counselling, or via the provision of self-help resources.  Sometimes, it’s a support group that is used, or the individual is offered guided relaxation techniques.  At other times, what is needed is physical and mental rehabilitation at one of three centres, located in Devon, West Sussex and Cumbria, where the treatment is said to be superb.  Support can often be long-term, making the need for fundraising paramount.

How our loss assessors have raised money – and why

Our fundraising has taken many forms.  We have raised money through raffles staged at our National Conference, by tackling the charity’s current 9-minute car wash challenge, and through lockdown quizzes.  We have also thrown some of our team in at the deep end, organising a day in which various individuals paid to put themselves through some actual firefighting training.

Our Managing Director, James Whittle, who has been through this firefighting induction training himself, says: “This is such a worthy charity and one that continually makes us think deeply about the debt of gratitude we owe to our firefighters – something that is reinforced during the course of our daily work, when we visit domestic and commercial premises that have a suffered fire, and the resulting water damage, to a greater or lesser extent.  

“Whilst Aspray can strive to put right the fire property damage, by negotiating a fair insurance settlement and good quality repair schedule, we cannot possibly assist those who suffer impacts from having been asked to step up and save both lives and property.  What we can do, is raise money for the specialists who can do that and it is our pleasure to do so.

“We really had no idea that our efforts would lead us towards the current award nomination in the Spirit of Fire Awards.  Win or lose, we know we gain much from supporting this charity, which continually touches our whole team with its stories of selfless bravery and hope and which humbles us in a way that is beneficial to us all.”

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