Fire fighters take the Dry January challenge

Two teams of Oxfordshire fire fighters have pledged to bid goodbye to booze in support of a national campaign.

The Eynsham fire fighters and the John O’Groats to Land’s End (JOGLE) 2016 cycle challenge team have signed up to Dry January as part of training efforts for their respective sporting challenges and also to raise the profile of the benefits of taking a break from alcohol.

Last year more than 2 million people took part and reported a host of benefits at the end of the month, including weight loss, better sleep and clearer skin. The fire fighters will be hoping to experience similar improvements and will be keeping people informed of their progress via social media.

Fire fighter Stuart Smith, from Eynsham, said: “Although some of the 14 members of our team are feeling this could be more daunting than the Tough Mudder challenge we have coming up in August, we are looking forward to seeing if it helps us in our training for the event. “

Clive Durbin, representing the JOGLE team, said: “Giving up alcohol can only help us in our bid to be at peak fitness in time for our cycling challenge. Everyone knows that alcohol is unhealthy but a challenge like this spurs you into doing something about cutting down and it will be interesting to see what impact it has on our training.”

The fire fighters have signed up online to give up alcohol for the whole month of January and hope other people will be inspired to join them.  They will benefit from being part of a mass participation event as well as motivational text or email messages sent by the organisation behind Dry January, Alcohol Concern.

Cllr Hilary Hibbert-Biles, Oxfordshire County Council Cabinet Member for Public Health, who is also taking the challenge, said: “Too many people regularly drink more alcohol than is healthy for them; many without realising it. Dry January is an initiative I fully support as a way of encouraging people to think about their relationship with alcohol.  I wish the fire fighters the best of luck with all the challenges they’ve lined up for themselves and hope that Dry January isn’t quite as difficult as they fear.”

Sign up to get involved at www.dryjanuary.org.uk and keep an eye on the @healthyoxon  Twitter and Facebook channels for updates on the firefighters’ progress.