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Fed Reps complete their Blue Light Hike and raise more than £6000 for PTSD999

08 Aug 2023

British Transport
Police Federation
08 Aug 2023

Fed Reps complete their Blue Light Hike and raise more than £6000 for PTSD999

Stuart Cowan, Chair of BTP Federation, and Gary Thwaite, CEO of Civil Nuclear Police Federation, have completed their epic Blue Light Hike.

The pair arrived at the BTP Federation offices in West Dulwich, London yesterday afternoon having set off from Cockermouth in Cumbria on 25 July. The officers covered 500 kilometres, averaging 50,000 steps each day in mostly inclement weather conditions. They are pictured with Gary Hayes, co-founder of PTSD999, along with Federation reps, staff and supporters.

So far, the Blue Light Hike has raised more than £6000 for the not-for-profit organisation, PTSD999, which supports emergency services workers with their mental health.

As well as raising money, Stuart Cowan and Gary Thwaite wanted to highlight the challenges of mental health issues amongst police officers and other emergency services staff. Alongside messages of support, including well wishes from the Prince and Princess of Wales, the officers have heard from colleagues who are struggling with their mental health.

Arriving at West Dulwich Stuart Cowan said: "What a challenge. Mentally and physically draining, we have blisters galore but for us it was about a really important issue; raising the profile of mental health. The walk may have finished but we have got to keep the conversations going. Every time a police officer experiences trauma, the right support must be there for them. Our Federations won't stop until we get that."

Gary Thwaite added: "We have raised some money for a really important charity and raised awareness of mental health in policing and the wider emergency services, but we need to keep talking about mental health. This is just the start for us."

Stuart and Gary were supported by Challenge The Wild, an outdoor events company that specialise in the planning and delivery of bespoke outdoor challenges. The challenge is being sponsored by organisations and individuals including ARC Legal, Axon, Rob Constable/George Burrows, Met Friendly, Met Police Federation, Motorfinity, PMAS, Colin Reynolds/Reynolds Dawson, Serve and Protect, Philip Williams Insurance and Uniform Mortgages

Stuart and Gary's fundraising page is https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/bluelightwalk