16 August 2022
The countdown has begun for a team of Derbyshire Police Federation members and police staff taking part in this year’s Police Unity Tour (PUT) cycle challenge to raise funds for Care of Police Survivors (COPS).
The event, now in its 10th year of increasing awareness and honouring police officers who have died in the line of duty, begins on Friday morning (19 August).
The Derbyshire team is again being led by Malc Shakespeare, a retired officer who is now a member of police staff, and features fellow retired officers Tim Smith and Wendy Wright, alongside serving officers Stuart Kershaw, Donna Abbott, Graham Fish, , Simon O’Connor (now transferred to Nottinghamshire Police), Daron Abbott, Dave Neate and first time PUT participant Rianne Holland.
The team forms part of the East Midlands Chapter with cyclists from other forces from the region and will be supported by cycle mechanic Andrew Smith whose employer JE James Cycles allows him to join the event and provides the necessary tools.
Ian Godfrey from Derbyshire Benevolent Trust will be behind the wheel of the support van and is always first at the refreshment stops to offer a cold flannel and a bottle of water.
Derbyshire Police Federation has made a donation of £500 to boost the team fundraising.
The PUT ride raises money solely for COPS which is dedicated to helping the families of police officers who have lost their lives. It ends on Sunday when PUT teams from across England and Wales come together to ride into the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas ahead of the COPS memorial service attended by fallen officers’ families, chief officers, Federation officials and other policing partners.
Last year’s event was the first physical ride in two years because of the Covid-19 pandemic but saw the £1 million milestone hit for the amount raised for COPS since the inaugural ride.
The event has gone from strength to strength every year and due to its amazing success, organisers have formed more local chapters than ever before for the 2022 edition and the East Midlands chapter is at full capacity.
People can make a donation to the Derbyshire PUT 2022 team via Malcolm’s fundraising page.