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Instructor is blazing a brave trail.

A VOLUNTEER instructor for young firefighters who has overcome being diagnosed with leukemia is in line for a Community Hero Award.

Forklift truck driver Mark Ashby helps out during his spare time with the Warwickshire Young Firefighters Association. It is a role he has carried out for the last seven years, joining youngsters for weekly meetings at Nuneaton Fire Station, and is now being recognised in an awards scheme run by DHL Logistics.

Mr Ashby, from Atherstone, issues during tests in the drill tower..

He said: "We have children involved from all backgrounds. Some have had their own challenges to overcome, such as learning disabilities, but every single one of the young people that joins the association has welcomed the training and matched the commitment of myself and the firefighters who train them.

"Many will go on to serve the community in a firefighter role, while those who, for whatever reason, do not go on to do so will have a tremendous platform from which to make a positive contribution in whichever field they do go into." Mr Ashby was told he had leukaemia three-and-a-half years ago and had to undergo sessions of gruelling treatment..

Crew manager Donny Clarke said: "Mark doesn't make a fuss about his illness.

The way he has put it behind him and carried on where he left off, helping young people in the community, is a shining example not only to them but to all of us."

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FIREFIGHTERS...Crew manager Donny Clarke (left) with Mark Ashby
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:May 16, 2009
Words:253
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