Staff at Burnley-based charity TEAM RISE taking on sponsored fire walk on Bonfire Night to help adults with autism and learning disabilities

Staff at a Burnley-based charity are turning up the heat by taking on a sponsored fire walk.

It will be a family affair as Sharon Lees, CEO of TEAM RISE in St James House, will be joined in a walk over hot coals on Bonfire Night by her sister and co-worker, Debra Kelly. Also taking on the daring challenge are fellow TEAM RISE employees and mother and son duo Sonya Greenwood and Bradley Morton, plus a volunteers’ 12-year-old daughter.

They will be raising money for the charity, which provides fun and stimulating activities like cooking sessions and museum trips for adults who are lonely and vulnerable or have autism and learning disabilities.

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Sonya, of Padiham, said: "We need to raise lots of money for the charity. We did The Colour Run in Manchester, and we’ve previously done Tough Mudder, a sky dive and a zip wire.

Team Rise service user Erik Robinson.

"The fire walk is one of those things on your bucket list. It’s very different.”

Sonya, a senior fundraising and support officer, added: “I think you have to go into a meditative state to do it – it’s not a case of hopping and running over the coals. I’m quite nervous about it but it will be fine – it’s all for a great cause.”

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The group will complete the walk for 30-year-old service user Erik Robinson as he is wheelchair-bound, with Sonya saying: "He’s absolutely fantastic. If he had the opportunity to walk over the coals, he would do. He’s going to support us.”

To take on the challenge, please contact [email protected] or to make a donation visit

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Sonya Greenwood, senior fundraiser and support officer at Team Rise.
Bradley Morton, project assistant at Team Rise.
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Sharon Lees, CEO of Team Rise.
Debra Kelley, project assistant at Team Rise.