FIREFIGHTERS from Hampshire have received a royal seal of approval.

This comes as part of a pledge by watch managers at St Mary's Fire Station Adam Bundle and Stu Vince, to raise awareness of mental health during a 3,000-mile Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, having experienced battles of their own in the workplace.

They are working with Southampton Solent University in preparation for the challenge in December 2020 and aim to raise money for SolentMind and The Fire Fighters Charity.

Ahead of their plans to row across the Atlantic Ocean, the pair were invited to meet HRH The Duke of Cambridge Prince William on Emergency Services Day.

On their visit, The Duke of Cambridge said: “As a society, we owe our wellbeing, and indeed our lives, to the men and women in our emergency services who work tirelessly to protect us in some of the most difficult circumstances.”

Adam, 39, said: “He was genuinely really interested in our campaign and wanted to know why we were doing it. Obviously mental health is very close his heart. We told him all about how we’re going into local businesses, teaching them to be mental health first aiders and all the money that we raise goes into our campaign and helps the charities.”

Stu, 43, said: “It would be an absolute honour to raise money for both charities as they have helped in both my physical and mental fight to return to operational duty.”

And they aren't the only Hampshire firefighters to rub shoulders with royalty.

Based at Cosham Fire Station, watch manager Craig Sadler is one of a troupe of firefighters on a fundraising mission for The Fire Fighters Charity ahead of an Everest Base Camp challenge.

The 47-year-old was welcomed to Buckingham Palace to represent the fire service at one of Her Majesty The Queen’s garden parties.

He said: “It was an honour to be invited to Her Majesty The Queen’s garden party and represent Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service. It was a privilege and humbling to be with so many good people.”

Craig and his team of fourteen firefighters will take on an 18-day trek to Nepal in November.