A Sussex Police team has raised more than £3,000 after running for 100 days in memory of two officers who were murdered whilst on duty.
The PC Nicola Hughes Memorial Fund was set up by Hughes’ father Bryn after she and Greater Manchester PC Fiona Bone were killed in 2012.
A force spokesman said the ‘Run to Remember’ team ran at least two miles per day, suffering injuries before finishing their epic challenge in Brighton on Sunday (May 29).
Intelligence Researcher, Megan Gardner, said: “I wanted to get involved to raise money for an amazing cause but also to focus on and dedicate myself to something at a time when everything else in my personal life felt like it was falling apart, everything was changing around me and I had no control, I was actually pretty lost.
“The challenge of running two miles every day gave me something to focus on and actually look forward to - much to my surprise I began to really enjoy it. Some days it felt like it was the only consistent part of my life. I enjoyed having time to myself to process my own thoughts and it really helped me regain a healthy state of mind and as a result I’m a completely changed person.
“I am so grateful to the organisers of this challenge as it’s had such a positive effect on me and I can only hope that the money I raised can go some way in having a positive effect on someone else’s life.
“I 110 per cent will continue to run, I’ve always wanted to do an obstacle race / mud run so think that will definitely be next on my list! And of course whatever next year’s ‘Run to Remember’ challenge is I’ll be counting down the days till I can start again.”
Simone Cuthbert, a police staff member currently seconded to East Sussex County Council, said: “Events in Manchester in 2012 hit home for everyone, showing how in doing their jobs and trying to help others two young women could lose their lives. The courage shown by their families, specifically Bryn Hughes in trying to use this senseless tragedy to help other people, is inspiring, making the 100 days challenge easy to sign up to and believe in.
“Every time a run felt a bit hard or I was struggling to find time to do the challenge I remembered Nicola and Fiona and why we were doing this. Feeling part of a team, not only in Sussex but the Police family across the country has been wonderful. I will definitely keep running. I believe going running when it was the last thing I felt like doing has made me stronger and know that two miles sometimes feels harder than ten! Next challenge, the North Downs Marathon in July…. this has set me up for it.”
The PC Nicola Hughes Memorial Fund was set up to provide learning opportunities and pre-employment skills in the form of support through grants or services to children (under 21) who have suffered a tragic loss of a close family member through a violent crime such as murder or manslaughter, said a police spokesman.
To find out more about the team and this worthy cause visit https://www.justgiving.com/teams/teamsussexr2r
To find out more about the PC Nicola Hughes Memorial fund and ‘Run to Remember’ visit http://www.pcnicolahughesmemorialfund.co.uk/, and follow @PCHughesMEM on Twitte.
Visit www.facebook.com/sussexpoliceforce for more photos from the final run.