Police Federation

Sergeant who raised thousands for charities in face of devastating cancer diagnosis Inspiration in Policing Award winner

Sergeant Loz East of Thames Valley Police has been honoured for his untiring and selfless support for others in need. 

13 July 2023


This year’s Inspiration in Policing Award, sponsored by Flint House, has been awarded to Sergeant Loz East from Thames Valley Police for his astonishing efforts in supporting others and fundraising for multiple charities despite the extreme life challenge he is facing. 

In September 2022, Loz was diagnosed with incurable pancreatic cancer. Such devasting news often sees people understandably step back and concentrate on themselves, but Loz used the situation to spur himself on and undertake great physical challenges in efforts to raise money for charity, spread awareness of different cancers and help others who have been diagnosed.

Not long after his initial diagnosis, he took on the Shield Run, a challenge to run one mile every day for a month in full police body armour, weighing in at 17kg - all whilst he was undergoing chemotherapy, continuing police work, and supporting his young family. His efforts raised an incredible £16,000 for pancreatic cancer therapies.  

This was the first of a huge array of physical feats that Loz has achieved. 

Not long after the Shield Run, Loz turned his attention to helping police officers and staff suffering from physical and mental health issues. With support from the Curtis Palmer Program, Loz took part in several events to raise money, including helping to push an injured serviceman in a wheelchair to the highest peak in the Brecon Beacons. This resulted in raising money for a new wheelchair to vastly improve the serviceman’s quality of life.    

From there, it was a 24-hour race to raise money in support of a former firefighter diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND), helping to fund his flat conversion to make it fully accessible.  

Not stopping there, Loz then completed the Three Peaks Challenge – climbing the highest mountain in Scotland, England, and Wales – raising £3,000.  

One of his fellow teammates, a female member of police staff who had dealt with a traumatic incident, said at the time: “My life has changed completing this challenge with Loz; he is just an absolute inspiration. I’m not going to be a victim anymore.” 

World Cancer Day 2022, Loz climbed Scafell Pike, the tallest mountain in England, along with the Thames Valley police and crime commissioner, friends and family. On World Cancer Day 2023, he climbed Snowdon, the tallest mountain in Wales. He also undertook the Devizes to Westminster canoe race, which covered 125 miles and took months of training around his chemotherapy.  

Loz has been unstoppable in his efforts to help others.

He also showed his solidarity for police widow Lissie Harper, walking 20 miles while carrying the weight of Andrew Harper. Another task saw him team up again with the Curtis Palmer Program for three days’ hiking and five days’ canoeing, leading a team that included people with MND, cancer, severe burns, and PTSD, as well as military amputees.  

These are just a few of the many feats Loz has accomplished over the past two and a half years. Meanwhile he spreads the word about pancreatic cancer on podcasts, internally within policing and across the wider media landscape.  

His friend and colleague, Thames Valley Police Inspector Damien Isherwood, said: “Loz has motivated and inspired many. His whole family has been engaged in fundraising for charity, including his wife, two young daughters and his two sons, who complete endurance races alongside him. 

“They are one family united in their determination to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer, support others and raise funds for cancer and blue light charities. I am proud to call Sergeant East a friend.”  

Thames Valley Police Federation Chair Craig O’Leary said: “Loz is untiring in his support of police causes despite the extreme challenges he is facing in his life. He sets an astonishing example for his colleagues, and we are immensely proud of him.”   

The ethos behind the Inspiration in Policing Award is to recognise extraordinary officers whose achievements don’t necessarily fit with a specific act of bravery in the last 12 months, but rather an officer who has battled adversity and demonstrated immense moral courage, spirit, and strength to highlight an issue and/or make a positive change for the benefit of policing and our members. 

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