A determined team of police officers are preparing to run riot in support of a former colleague with cancer.
So far 12 officers from West Mercia Police have signed up to take on the arduous task of attempting the Market Drayton 10k while fully kitted out in police riot gear – all to raise funds for Severn Hospice.
Behind the charity challenge is PC Gary Lansdale, who wanted to go the extra mile as close friend and ex-colleague Lisa McCallister is fighting ovarian cancer.
And in just a week, more than £1,300 has already been raised for the charity, which provides comforting care and emotional support to families living with life-limiting conditions.
Gary, who operates between Shrewsbury and Telford, said: “Lisa is a close friend of ours and we wanted to do something to support her during her treatment.
“Both Lisa and her husband Al, who worked with us for 15 years, have been through so much but continue to fight this with the utmost courage and dignity.
“It won’t be an easy challenge for us but we’re determined to raise as much cash as possible to help support the hospice and the work it does for people in the community.”
It’s not the first time Gary has helped raise funds for Severn Hospice after previously completing last year’s Market Drayton 10k in police uniform and even giving his wages away from his Boxing Day shift.
The officers are currently training in preparation of the race on 12 May and hope to raise £5,000 in total.
The kit the police officers will be sporting includes full overalls, gloves, a helmet complete with visor and even the round riot shields. As they attempt the run, they are hoping to get a police riot van to follow them along as they go.
Supporters who make a donation of £5 will be entered into a raffle to win a selection of prizes donated by local businesses.
Gary is appealing for anyone who can donate a raffle prize to email him on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The event will see participants starting and finishing in the race village at Grove School in Newcastle Road.
The ever popular race might already be full, but Severn Hospice has 10 places up for grabs which runners can take in return for pledging to raise a minimum of £150.
Hospice community fundraiser, Mike Perry, added: “We’re so grateful that Gary and his team have chosen to raise money for us in support of Lisa.
“Taking on the Market Drayton 10k alone isn’t an easy task, but to run it with riot gear is some challenge. We really appreciate their support and wish them the best of luck for the event in May.
“If anyone would like to take part in the run themselves – without having to wear heavy riot gear – we have a number of places available.
“Your support will mean we can continue to offer care and emotional support to families living with incurable illnesses in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Mid Wales.”
For anyone who would like to sign up and support the charity go to www.severnhospice.org.uk/support-us/events or call the fundraising team on 01952 221351.
To make a donation ahead of their challenge visit the police officers’ Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/garylansdale