20 July 2021
A team of Derbyshire officers and staff are gearing up for a 180-mile charity bike ride to raise funds for Care of Police Survivors (COPS).
The annual Police Unity Tour (PUT), which is now in its ninth year, will see riders from forces across the nation come together to raise vital funds for the charity which supports the families of officers who have died while on duty.
Malcolm Shakespeare, a retired Derbyshire officer who is now a member of police staff, is being joined by fellow retired officer Tim Smith and serving officers Graham Fish, Simon O’Connor, Wendy Wright, Daron and Donna Abbot and Stuart Kershaw in the marathon ride.
Support will be provided by Andy Smith and Ian Godfrey of Derbyshire Benevolent Trust.
Malc said: “We have a growing team of Derbyshire riders this year and I am extremely proud of their commitment to this event. Training is going well across the team I think and the recent spell of good weather has no doubt fuelled the desire to ride!”
The Derbyshire team will be riding alongside members from four other forces in PUT Chapter XI representing the East Midlands region. Each of the riders will wear a wristband specifically dedicated to a fallen officer.
Their ride begins in Ripley on Friday 30 July and ends on Sunday 1 August at a COPS service of remembrance at the National Memorial Arboretum where they will meet up with other riders from across the country and guests from overseas.
Malc is urging officers and staff to throw their support behind the cyclists by pledging a donation before the ride gets underway.
He said: “It’s never been more important to get behind us all and donate to this superb charity. Like so many other organisations, COPS was hit hard by the pandemic and events like the PUT were unfortunately cancelled last year due to the pandemic restrictions.
“Although fund-raising for the charity has been essentially put on hold for a year, the charity continues to provide the vital support needed to the families of our fallen colleagues.
“We must all get behind this fantastic charity, not just by way of supporting those who are taking part in a bike ride but in honour of those police officers who continue to be missed by all. It’s always such an honour to be once again taking part in an event like this.
“At the last event, in 2019, we received an overwhelming amount of support and such a warm welcome, I’m anticipating the same this year.”
You can support this year’s Derbyshire PUT team by donating at Malc’s Just Giving page.