30 July 2021
A team of Derbyshire officers and staff were today setting off on a 180-mile charity bike ride to raise vital funds for the Care of Police Survivors (COPS) charity.
The annual Police Unity Tour (PUT), which is now in its ninth year, sees riders from forces across the nation come together to raise cash for the organisation 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.”
The Derbyshire team is riding alongside members from four other forces in PUT Chapter XI representing the East Midlands region. Each of the riders is wearing a wristband specifically dedicated to a fallen officer.
The riders were setting off from Ripley today and finishing on Sunday at a COPS service of remembrance at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire 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.
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.
• Malc has expressed his thanks to J. James Cycles, Chesterfield who have provided roadside repair facilities to the team this year.