Leicestershire  Police Federation

Light the Lakes and help COPS

12 September 2018

The Chief Constable is hoping that some Leicestershire officers will sign up to take part in the Light the Lakes event next year in support of the Care of Police Survivors (COPS) charity.

Mr Cole, who is a COPS trustee, took part in the fund-raising challenge this year and now wants to encourage as many people as possible to join him again in 2019.

“I want to help the organisers reach their target of lighting all Wainwright’s 214 peaks during the Light the Lakes event next year so the more people we can to take part the better,” says Mr Cole.

The event, which runs from Friday 21 to Sunday 23 June, sees supporters from all over the UK migrate to the Lake District in Cumbria and in the early hours of the Saturday morning light a blue flare or a beacon to remember fallen officers.

Organiser DS Vinny Wagjiani from Surrey Police explains: “With each year, Light the Lakes continues to grow and develop, drawing ever more participants from police forces around the UK and the wider public. Since its inception, it has raised in excess of £30,000 for COPS, and provided those who take part with a valuable opportunity to reflect and remember their fallen friends and colleagues in the police force.

“My dream is to see all of Wainwright’s 214 peaks illuminated. This year I scaled Ill Bell with a different team from my usual crowd, in order to gather new ideas and feedback to continually improve the event.    

“This year over 350 people took part, climbing 90 peaks, which is double the number we had in 2017. We are growing steadily and I’d like to think Light the Lakes is becoming a permanent calendar entry for many people. 

“The event is open to everyone, and the great thing about it is that anyone can participate, whatever level you are at. We have the serious hill walkers who want to do the highest peaks, and we have family groups with young children doing the smaller fells.  

“I find it hard to explain to people in words what it feels like to light a peak – a photo doesn’t really do it justice. You need to experience it yourself.”

Already 23 forces have signed up to take part but the organisers would like all 43 forces in England and Wales plus those in Scotland and Northern Ireland to be represented.

 How to get involved:

  • Book your peak visit.
  • The lighting of the peaks takes place between 2.30am and 3am on Saturday 22 June. It is up to you when you climb your peak. Some choose to climb on the Friday evening and descend in the morning, spending the night at the top, while others choose to climb later on and come down in the dark following the beacon-lighting.
  • The event is based at Brathay Hall, Ambleside. On Saturday 22 June, there is a food available and a get-together at the hall for participants. 
  • Participants taking part in Light the Lakes are asked to raise money for COPS. Join the Light the Lakes fund-raising team on Just Giving. Sponsorship forms are also available.
  • Any other questions? Visit the FAQs section on the website or email the organisers.

Read Mr Cole's blog after this year's Light the Lakes.