I hope that my blog followers will forgive me a little indulgence to promote events I am undertaking to raise funds for a charity that is very close to my heart. Normal service will be resumed in the next blog.
‘The first rule of law enforcement: make sure when your shift is over you go home alive. Here endeth the lesson.’
Care of Police Survivors (COPS) is a charity that supports the families of police officers who have been lost in the line of duty, providing a support network to help rebuild the shattered lives. As a serving officer, we sometimes forget the risks we take on a daily basis until something brings it into focus, the following video, shared by a close friend, explains it way better than words
I was inspired to raise funds for COPS by my friend, Kate Parker, who has been supported by COPS and, in turn, supports others. She was kind enough to explain the help she has had from them
– In September 2005 my husband PC Andy Parker of North Wales Police was killed returning home from duty. I was a widow at 31 and our sons were aged 3 and 4, our lives devastated. No one ever expects to receive that awful knock at the door.
Shortly afterwards in the fog of grief and shock, I received a card from Christine Fulton, the then President of COPS, telling me about the charity and the support they could offer us. I initially dismissed it, telling my Family Liaison Officer that I didn’t need group hugs and more crying thank you. However, after striking up a correspondence with Christine, I decided to attend their annual Families weekend but purely for the sake of the children.
It was life-changing. I met some incredible people, who for once said “I know how you feel” and meant it. I formed friendships that will last forever and this really brings meaning to that oft-used phrase “Police Family”. However the greatest gift the charity have given to me is to see my 2 sons in an environment where – for a change – they are not the odd one out.
Only a couple of years after I was widowed, I found myself giving comfort and advice to newly bereaved families. My boys are older now, and I was moved this year to see them taking care of and comforting other children who have been through a similar experience. To see the children all together, from toddlers to teenagers, embracing, laughing, talking about and celebrating their parent is wonderful.
The Families Weekend is a highlight of our year. It’s like a big family reunion. Yes the are some tears but thanks to COPS and the support they have given us, I am in a position to enjoy my life and enjoy that weekend. Serving officers from many forces attend each year, they have also become like family and are outstanding role models for the youngsters missing their parent.
COPS’s mission statement is “Rebuilding Shattered Lives”. For me that says it all.
In order to help raise funds for COPS, I am doing 2 slightly mad challenges. Firstly, on the 4th September @BridgendPC, @Kawgparker and I, along with other COPS supporters will do a Firewalk over hot coals at the Scottish Police College.
Barely a month later (after the blisters have healed, hopefully!) I am going to run the UK’s toughest marathon, one of the toughest in the world, from Glencoe, over the Devils Staircase down to Kinlochleven, then up, over the Nevis range to Fort William, climbing over 1600 meters during the course of the 26.2 mile run.
Please support this excellent cause and sponsor me through my Just Giving page or by texting COPS80 £5 to 70070.
In order to encourage donations, if I raise £100 before the firewalk, I will wear my kilt during the walk. If I raise £300, I will wear my kilt for the marathon.