19 August 2022
A team of cyclists have set off on this year’s Police Unity Tour (PUT) challenge to raise funds for Care of Police Survivors (COPS).
The event is now in its 10th year of increasing awareness and honouring police officers who have died in the line of duty.
The Derbyshire team is again being organised by Malc Shakespeare, a retired officer who is now a member of police staff, and is expected to feature fellow retired officers Tim Smith and Wendy Wright, alongside serving officers 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 is being supported by cycle mechanic Andrew Smith whose employer JE James Cycles has allowed him to join the event and provides the necessary tools.
Ian Godfrey from Derbyshire Benevolent Trust is behind the wheel of the support van.
The 2022 PUT ride is now underway
The cyclists set off from Nottinghamshire Police HQ and taking a challenging, hilly route into the heart of Derbyshire where a service of remembrance and wreath laying takes place at 11.30am in Ripley.
The team then head south into Leicestershire for their first overnight stop and the following day cycle into Staffordshire and have a full day in the saddle before meeting up with fellow PUT chapters at Drayton Manor. The whole route is about 180 miles.
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.
Derbyshire Police Federation has made a donation of £500 to boost the team fundraising this year.
People can make a donation to the Derbyshire PUT 2022 team via Malcolm’s fundraising page.