Lichfield Special Constables thanked for help at fundraiser

Anne Pitman, Tracy Potts, PCSO Syd Ambrose, PCSO Maggie Griffiths and Sue Whelan

Anne Pitman, Tracy Potts, PCSO Syd Ambrose, PCSO Maggie Griffiths and Sue Whelan

Lichfield’s Special Constables have been praised for their work in a charity event which raised £150,000 for charity.

The Solstice Walk saw an estimated 1,500 women visit the city on Saturday night to raise money for St Giles Hospice.

But the walk would not have been possible without the assistance of those ensuring the safety of the walkers – including the Special Constables.

Divisional Officer Syd Ambrose, who led the team of Specials on duty on the night, said:

“This Solstice Walk has become a real highlight of the calendar for us. With brightly coloured costumes and a tremendous sense of fun while doing something really worthwhile, the walkers always bring a brilliant atmosphere to Lichfield .

“This was the third St Giles Solstice Walk we have been responsible for policing, and our job is to look after all the women taking part in this huge charity event, making sure they’re safe and resolving any incidents. Although we spend the night rushing around like ‘blue lights’,we have no trouble – in fact our duties tend to be giving struggling participants first aid or lifts to the finishing line!”

Syd and the team worked on foot, bikes and patrol cars, and between them clocked-up a far greater distance than the nine-mile Solstice Walk course while on patrol.

Alongside the Specials and regular police under Commander Trevor Steventon, staff and volunteers from the North Lichfield Initiative were also at the event to make women aware of the ‘Tinkerbell’ project.

‘Tinkerbells’ are little bells which attach to a purse to alert the owner if a thief is about to strike and St Giles handed out 1,500 at the end of the walk along with certificates and pink gerberas, to represent caring.

Tracy Potts, Community Development Worker for the Initiative, which is part of Lichfield Borough Council, explains:

“The North Lichfield Initiative has funded the ‘Tinkerbell’ project and works with the police to ensure as many women have these for themselves, their friends and family members, to help them to avoid becoming the victims of crime.”

The group is also lending its support to the event in other ways, as one of the many Lichfield organisations opening its premises as a rest facility during the evening.

Helen Relihan, Head of Fundraising at St Giles Hospice, added:

“We’re so grateful for all the help we receive from the local community to make the Solstice Walk such a huge success. In addition to the invaluable support Special Constabulary and the North Lichfield Initiative provided, we would like to thank all the husbands, partners and friends who acted as event marshals and cheered everyone on.”

All proceeds from the event are spent on St Giles’ services caring for local people living with cancer and other serious illnesses.

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