Brave Ben becomes a firefighter for the day

Ben Robinson at Leigh fire station with Jon White, Kris Ogden, Robert Huey, Stuart Parr and  Kane Partington
Ben Robinson at Leigh fire station with Jon White, Kris Ogden, Robert Huey, Stuart Parr and Kane Partington

A brave schoolboy was given a special treat thanks to Leigh’s firefighters.

Eleven-year-old Ben Robinson and his family were given a day to remember when they were invited to Leigh fire station on Saturday.

Ben Robinson in his uniform

Ben Robinson in his uniform

Ben, who has cerebral palsy and was diagnosed with leukaemia last year, was the guest of honour for the day.

His dad Paul Robinson, who lives in Leigh, said: “They gave us a guided tour and showed him all the equipment and uniforms and they presented Ben with his own uniform and helmet. It had his name on the side. It was really, really impressive.

“We went to where all the fire engines were and they had a small electric one. Me and Ben went in it and they were driving us around in it.

“They got the platform hoist out and sent us 100ft in the air.

They even gave him one of their own helmets that had been used day-to-day on the job

Dad Paul

“It was really good and we were really looked after.”

The outing was the idea of Peter Taylor, landlord of the Britannia pub, on St Helens Road.

And it proved to be a hit with Ben.

Paul said: “He absolutely loved it. They couldn’t do enough for him. They were so welcoming.”

Ben enjoyed the day with his parents Paul and Tammy, as well as three-year-old sister Taylor.

He was allowed to take his firefighter uniform and helmet home to keep.

Paul said: “They even gave him one of their own helmets that had been used day-to-day on the job.”

The firefighters had also organised a raffle, with prizes donated by local businesses, and raised £320 for Ben and his family.

Ben was born prematurely at just 28 weeks and has cerebral palsy.

He has used a wheelchair since he was four years old.

He became ill in February last year and after carrying out tests, doctors found he had leukaemia.

Paul said his son is now over the worst and is in maintenance. He will continue the treatment by taking tablets at home for the next two-and-a-half years.

He has returned to classes at Newton Westpark Primary School and can go swimming and play football again.

Ben inspired Leigh Centurions player Dayne Weston to set up Ben’s Wish, an appeal which aims to send the youngster to Jamaica for a holiday.

Paul said: “He visited in the very early days and he was blown away by our Ben, his outlook and how positive he was. He touched his heart strings and he has become a very good close friend to the family.

“He set Ben’s Wish up because on that first visit Ben said when all this is over, he would like to go to Jamaica, to go on a white beach to do nothing. He mentioned being in a hammock as well.”

A host of fund-raising events have been organised to help achieve Ben’s dream.

The next fund-raiser is the Home From Home Walk on Sunday, March 19.

Ben is a fan of both Leigh Centurions and Manchester City so supporters will walk from Leigh Sports Village to the Etihad Stadium.

They will set off at 10am and expect the walk will take six hours - getting them to the Etihad in time for City’s match against Liverpool at 4pm.

Ben will officially set the walkers off, before joining them for the final mile.