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West Midlands Police Federation

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Campaign to support ACC gathers pace

14 November 2019

More than 300 people have now signed up to take part in the Liverpool Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon events next May in support of Assistant Chief Constable Chris Johnson.

The ACC was told he had Motor Neurone Disease 12 months ago and, inspired by his approach to his diagnosis, DS Trudy Gittins, West Midlands Police Federation workplace representative and deputy chair of the WMP police staff association EnAble, decided to run the full marathon in Liverpool on Sunday 24 May 2020 to raise funds for two charities offering support to the family – the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) and Primrose Hospice - and encouraged others to join her.

“We now have more than 300 police officers, police staff, friends, family and little ones signed up including colleagues and friends from all over the country to run either the full or half marathon or the 5K or one mile events in Liverpool,” said Trudy

“For most, including me, this is an immense challenge on top of juggling work and family life but in pushing ourselves in this way we are reminded that we are able and blessed to have the good health to do it. 

“Inspired by Chris Johnson, it gives us an opportunity to come together with all of our varying running experiences to share that one thing that we all have one thing in common in the desire to demonstrate our support to the Johnson family who are fighting this very cruel disease; to ensure that through us in our working lives Chris Johnson’s message ‘it’s okay not to be okay’ is spread and to raise as much funds and awareness as we can about Motor Neurone Disease and Primrose Hospice.”

Chris has been touched by the response to the campaign.

“I want to thank everyone involved. It’s really important to me that we raise awareness of MND and help with much needed research in to this disease which has no known cause or cure.  I also hope that we can show that ‘it’s okay not to be okay’ and that the policing family will support you if you need help,” he said.

“This is a truly wonderful thing to do. It’s been a difficult time but I can honestly say things like this, where great people are prepared to do something to help raise awareness and support, is genuinely uplifting.”

His wife, Sharon, a PC in the Force Initial Investigation Team, is running in the half marathon and has also thanked everyone for their efforts.

“When this first started we had no idea of how big it would get. We can’t thank each and every person involved enough.  It is very important to us a family to not only highlight Motor Neurone Disease and the fantastic work the MNDA does but also to thank the Primrose Hospice, a local charity, for its support to us as a family at a difficult time.

“Our son, Harry, who is nearly 10 will be running the one mile on the day and is so excited to be involved in what will make a truly fantastic memory for us all and show the children what an inspirational man their Dad is.

“I have made friends for life and just shows that the police are one big family.”

West Midlands Police Federation is supporting the fund-raising by making a donation of £2,500 on behalf of all the Federated WMP members taking part in addition to supplying #WMPMND branded water bottles for each runner. 

In addition, the Federation is contributing £300 towards the cost of a charity song which has been written by DI Chris Jones which is hoped will raise thousands of pounds for each charity.

And the West Midlands Police Force Sports and Social Club has agreed to pay half the entry fees for any of its members who had signed up to take part.  To find out more about this type ‘cashback’ in the sports and social club website.

As well as runners from the Force and their family and friends, there are entrants from other forces across England and Wales including former West Midlands Police officers Carl Foulkes, now Chief Constable in North Wales, and Alex Murray, now a Commander in the Met.

Thinking of joining Team #WMPMND? Please get in touch with Trudy and consider sharing this plea for recruitment with your own personal and working networks. Alternatively, if you think you can help by raising awareness and funds for MND or the Primrose Hospice in another way, please also contact Trudy.

You can also contact the occupational health and wellbeing fitness advisers for further training support. They regularly hold ‘Couch to 5K’ training programmes.

Challenge yourself… who’s in?


October 2020