On 28th July five of our officers will be taking to the pedals to take part in a 180 mile bike ride in memory of fallen officer PC Jon Henry.

Starting at memorial at The Mall in London the team will be escorted past Parliament by police motorbikes to mark the beginning of this year’s UK Police Unity Tour – ‘riding for those who died’.

Officers from forces across the county will be cycling to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire to pay their respects to those officers who are no longer with us.

Passing through Luton, the officers will gather at the scene of the tragic death of our friend and colleague ten years ago, where they will be joined by Jon’s wife Mary and his daughter Maggie.

The plaque in the town centre marks a poignant point for the force. Just a few weeks ago on 11th June officers and staff gathered and paid tribute to our fallen hero – teary and pensive faces lined the street and it was clear the memories of Jon and the incident 10 years ago are still very raw.

Training for the event has been tough at times, battling shocking weather and fitting in the miles between work and family commitments. But the emotional tie is what gets the team on their bikes to clock up the miles. During the event they will spend around six hours a day in the saddle.

Never ones to shy away from a challenge, two of the team are adding an extra 60 miles to the task by setting off from force HQ heading to London to register as a final ‘training ride’ the day before. The ride itself is a fun event but our competitive bunch can’t help but want to win!

The team said: “When you need to dig deep in events like this the motivation comes easy; simply it is such a good cause supporting the families’ of those who have died. It doesn’t matter if you had the pleasure of working with Jon or knew him personally, the fact we lost one of our own is a thought never far from the minds of the force, old or new. It really brings home what we do.

“Events like this reinvigorate our memories of Jon; remembering his bad jokes and endless puns. It sounds such a cliché to say Jon was the nicest guy you’ve ever met – but he actually genuinely was.”

“Recent events across the UK bring back the thoughts and feelings, especially in the Westminster attack where PC Keith Palmer lost his life. You think of the families and what they are going through. The public rallied and raised £500,000 following the death of PC Palmer. That type of fundraising wasn’t around for Jon or the charity COPS (Care of Police Survivors) who helped his family so much, which is why events like this are even more important.”

“It will never bring him back, but it helps his family. It is for his wife and his little girl, who had her Daddy taken far too young. Just a baby at the time she has grown up hearing from everyone else the amazing man her Dad was.”

Throughout July the team are raising awareness and funds in memory of PC Jon Henry so please support where you can. The officers are funded entirely by Bedfordshire Police Federation for the event.

Emma Carter, Secretary said ‘To support a charity who make such a difference to those who have lost officers is so worthwhile and sadly one that is becoming used more and more; this is just a tiny thing we can do to support the officers riding, all of whom were connected to Jon in some way. Jon was very well liked and is still missed everyday and this is the very least we can do. We are proud of the officers for doing this and is a fitting tribute to Jon 10 years on’

You can donate by texting BEDS70 to 70070 or at http://www.justgiving.com/bedsunitytour

Follow the team’s progress on Instagram @bedsunitytour

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