Leicestershire Police cadets take on the Light the Lakes challenge
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A team of police cadets braved the cold, dark conditions of the Lake District to take part in the 10th Anniversary of the Light the Lakes challenge.
The annual challenge raises money and support for Care of Police Survivors (COPS), a charity dedicated to helping the families of police officers who have lost their lives while on duty. The challenge involves climbing to the top of one of the 214 Wainwright peaks and lighting a flare at 3am in honour of fallen officers.
The group of 29 police cadets and nine cadet leaders split into teams to tackle the peaks of Outerside, Barrow and Stile End on Friday night (17 June) and into the early hours of Saturday morning.
Leicestershire Police was the only force to involve their cadets in the challenge this year and took more cadets than ever before.
Ruby and Sophie, both 14, from Hinckley and Loughborough police cadet units were among the climbers and said: “We’ve had an excellent weekend. We have loved making new friends and facing new challenges and adventures. We really enjoyed the night time walk up to the peak to light the flares and seeing all of the other peaks light up around us.”
The cadets stayed in a youth hostel nearby and managed to get some rest before beginning their ascent at 12:30am. After the flares had been lit at 3am, the teams walked back down and enjoyed breath-taking views of the sunrise over the national park.
Cadet Leader DC Anthony Jones took a leading role in organising the cadet’s involvement. “I am so proud that Team Leicestershire were the only force in the UK to take police cadets to the Light the Lakes challenge” he said, “after months of planning it has been so rewarding to see the young people get such a brilliant lasting memory.”
On Saturday afternoon the cadets headed to Brathay Hall in Ambleside where they met with others from Leicestershire Police who had completed the challenge, before heading back to the hostel for an evening of quizzes and board games.
Sergeant Charlotte Dickens from the Volunteers in Policing team accompanied the cadets and said: “For us to have the support from the force to allow us to provide this unique opportunity to our young people is truly remarkable. This weekend I’ve seen first-hand how the cadets build friendship groups, push themselves out of their comfort zone and complete personal challenges which they didn’t think they could do. All cadets were a credit to Leicestershire Police throughout the weekend.”
The trip ended with a group walk to Aira Force waterfall on Sunday morning before heading back to force headquarters.
Police cadet Abbie added: “We’ve had an amazing weekend, not only doing the Light the Lakes challenge but all of the other things as well. I think it’s safe to say we’ve all eaten too much and we’re losing our voices!
“Seeing everyone come together to remember all the officers who lost their lives to protect us was so lovely, they and all who took part are truly inspirational. We have all made some amazing friends and memories and had a great laugh.”
Other teams from Leicestershire Police included colleagues from the Control Room, the Digital Hub, Criminal Justice, Resource Planning, the Road Safety department and the Evidential Property and Archive Centre (EPAC).