It fills me with sadness to think of the horrific tragedy that unfolded on September 18th 2012. There I was at work on what should have been a regular Tuesday morning, when those tragic set of circumstances unfolded. It still feels like only yesterday.
Everyday I am proud to be a part of the GMP family. Whether you are an Officer, PCSO or Police Staff, or even a family or friend of those who are, I'm you will agree with me when I say that it is a community like no other. A community that spread across the nation and even across the world on that day and ever since. Shoulder to Shoulder hundreds of Police Force's stand united with pride and respect. Very Humbling.
Despite not knowing either of the girls personally, I have a loved one who did, and to see her so hurt by the shocking and very public news on that day and the weeks that followed, still hangs heavy in my heart.
Since then, many people (myself included) have made sure that the loss of PC's Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes was not in vain. To help in any way make their memory live on whilst doing something positive to raise money for some very worthy causes. I hope that these acts of kindness have provided some sort of comfort to the girls' families and shown that we all share a small part of their immense grief.
I personally have taken part in a couple of different charity events for them, and dare I say it, I've had fun doing so! That coupled with a great sense of satisfaction, knowing that the money raised will help other families in their time of need.
The first was a 26 mile bike ride to support the 4 cyclists from Hillingdon Police who rode 190 miles over 3 days from Westminster Cathedral to Greater Manchester Police Headquarters in a Fallen Heroes Charity Cycle Ride. They raised over £5000 for the North West Police Benevolent Fund. There were more than 80 cyclists of various ability (with me probably being the most unfit!!) who joined these amazing cyclists at Buxton Police Station in Derbyshire to support them on their final leg and welcome them to Greater Manchester, to show our support and appreciation as a Police Force. I really take my helmet off to them.. I struggled to complete the 26 miles, but with sheer determination and help from my fellow colleague (and some lucozade!) I finished the ride without walking once! What a great sense of achievement, and what a worthy cause too.
I also took part in a 2 day Charity Car Wash, hosted by Dulux Decorating Centre, Bolton. Organised by the stores' Manager, Pat. We cleaned enough cars to raise over £550 in support of the PC Hughes North Pole Marathon where Bryn (Nicola's Dad) and 2 others aim to raise a substantial amount of money for the North West Police Benevolent Fund, Care Of Police Survivors and Victim Support.
If you can spare a few minutes, I urge you to check out Bryns' website or facebook page to see how the team are getting along with their training. It certainly looks grueling! Better still, if you can spare a few pounds, please donate here - I am sure they will be very grateful! Maybe one day I will pluck up the courage to join them on the infamous Marsden Steps...
So when the clock strikes 10:53 tomorrow on September 18th 2013, please join the GMP Family in observing a 1 minute silence for our Fallen Heroes. Fill it with thoughts of these 2 Police Officers and their family and friends, and perhaps think about what you can do to help their memory live on.