IT was mind over matter for big-hearted volunteers who walked over red-hot coals in a Bournemouth hotel car-park to raise funds for a national charity.

Twenty people took part in a firewalk in the grounds of the Yenton Hotel in Gervis Road, boosting the coffers of Scope to the tune of £1,000.

"It was a great success with not a blister in sight," said organiser Martina Lockerbie, a quality control inspector from Winton, who has raised £30,000 for cerebral palsy sufferers and their carers during recent years.

"I don't believe in asking anyone to do something I'm not prepared to do myself so I had a go as well," she said. "There was a tremendous adrenaline rush and I'm glad to say that no-one backed out at the last minute.

"The car-park was cordoned off to ensure the safety of members of the public and, after two hours training, it was all over in seconds.

"We discovered that if you stand still on the coals you will get burned but walking over them is perfectly safe."

The Yenton hotel hosted the event free of charge and the aptly named Nottingham-based Blaze company built the firewalk and sorted out insurance cover.

Undaunted by the experience, Martina, who has helped organise charity zip drives at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital and abseiling events, is hoping to stage another firewalk in the autumn. Volunteers can contact her on 07719070974.

First published: August 23, 2005