Belfast Telegraph

Penny is a volunteer at World Police and Fire Games to repay blaze rescue

BY MARIA MARSELLA

When a fire ravages your home, how do you give something back to those who were so kind to you?

Penny Bell (below), a retired teacher from East Grinstead in Sussex, decided her pay back would be to travel to Northern Ireland to volunteer at the World Police and Fire Games in honour of those who rushed to the rescue when her home caught fire.

"A few years ago I had a serious house fire and was so impressed by the policemen and the firemen that turned out that night. They put the fire out and made sure I was OK," she told the Belfast Telegraph.

"I always felt that I really needed to do something to acknowledge what they did for me, so here I am."

She was among volunteers on hand at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast yesterday. She is at the Games to support all firefighters, regardless of their country, for all the good work they do.

The 62-year-old can't put a price on her work as a volunteer.

"I see it as the equivalent of a holiday. Volunteering is a holiday with a purpose. It's money that you are happy to spend and anything that you get back is a bonus. I'm lucky that I can afford to, but I would do it if I didn't have the money."

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