At 3am on Saturday morning, teams from police forces across the country battled gale force winds and driving rain to come together to “Light The Lakes” in memory of officers that have lost their lives on duty.
The event takes place every year in the Lake District and raises funds for COPS (Care Of Police Survivors), a charity that provides help to families of fallen officers.
Sergeant Charlotte Dickens, along with Superintendent Emma Maxwell, led a team of 40 police cadets, 13 cadet leaders and 11 young people from Germany to the summits of three different peaks. The team walked through raging winds and torrential rain, but every one of them made it to their respective peaks to illuminate their lights at 3 o’clock.
Sgt Dickens said: “We are very lucky to have such a dedicated team who provide these amazing opportunities for our young people. We are the only force to have taken cadets on this challenge, and each of them completed it with a huge smile on their face, despite the awful weather conditions.
“As a group, the cadets managed to raise a massive £1,076 for COPS, which is just amazing. Thank you to everyone that took part.”
Superintendent Manjit Atwal took part with a team of officers from Mansfield House and Charnwood which was organised by PC Elliot Godden.
She said: “Despite our best efforts we didn’t get to the top of Hopegill Head due to the horrendous weather conditions – we managed to get three quarters of the way up, but then the winds and rain made it very difficult.
“We were all disappointed, but we managed to camp overnight and at 3am we remembered all our colleagues and lit up the area with our glowsticks. We took time to remember our dear colleague Stuart Plane who worked at Mansfield for a few years before moving to a safeguarding role.
“Special thanks must go to Elliott Godden for organising the event and ensuring we all had full instructions, as well as leading the pack on the day. I would also like to thank both Sergeant Zane Tompkins and PC Kev Marsh for their continued support to all of us and for keeping us moving up the mountain as well as the support we received from the Police Federation and chief officers.
“It was a pleasure to be with so many great individuals who as a team were awesome and stayed positive throughout.”
Inspector Paul Crew took part for the fourth time. He and his team of four from the forces’ Contact Management Department and Professional Standards Department were hoping to make it to the top of Mt Sunday Crag – but were also beaten back by the awful weather.
He said: “Due to the dangerous weather conditions we had to hunker down on Low Pike before evacuating just before 9pm. We were all disappointed, but it was the right thing to do given the awful weather.
“We managed a small period of remembrance before we left and have still raised money for COPS.”
Stu Mottershaw is a Special Inspector and also works for the road safety team. Stu, along with his family and friends also decided the ascent would be too dangerous in the awful conditions, however still paid their respects.
“This wasn’t our first time at Light The Lakes, and it won’t be our last. Unfortunately, the weather made our trek just far too dangerous,” Stu said.
“We are still proud of what we did, and along with everyone else there, we lit our flares at 3am and remembered friends and colleagues that we have lost.
“We’re really looking forward to next years’ hike”
It’s not too late to donate - A special song has been composed for the Light the Lakes called ‘Blue Angels’ by Tim Newman and all proceeds from every download go to COPS. Head over to the Light the Lakes Facebook page to have a listen and download it.