THE team from Tamworth’s Holiday Inn Express rolled out the VIP treatment on Saturday as over 250 cyclists from the Police Unity Tour group and Police outriders descended on the hotel as the last stop before the end of their three day fund raising cycle ride.
The Police Unity Tour, who’s motto is ‘We ride for those who died’ raises funds for COPS, Care of Police Survivors, a UK charity dedicated to helping the families of police officers who have lost their lives on duty.
To support the tour, which attracts cyclists from police forces across the country, the Holiday Inn Express donated a cheque for £500 to the charity at a special reception at the hotel to mark the event. It is the fifth year the Unity Tour has stayed at the hotel and
General Manager Richard McKie says welcoming the cyclists is one of the highlights of the hotel year.
As Richard explained: “We are always delight3d to have the Unity Tour cyclists and their families staying with us here at the Holiday Inn Express. It is an amazing charity, a hugely worthwhile cause and we are delighted this year, to be able to support the charity with our donation of £500.”
Inspector Gary Byfield one of the original founders of the Unity Tour said: “We are thrilled to receive the donation from Richard and his team. They always make us feel so welcome and we always look forward to our stay at the hotel. Richard and his team there look after us really well and this year have gone over and above. We thank them for the donation it is fantastic.”
The cyclists were joined by Police outriders, friends and family at the hotel for an evening barbecue before setting off on Sunday morning to cycle to the National Memorial
Arboretum in Staffordshire where the Unity Tour joined with the UK COPS Survivors weekend held to honour the service and sacrifice of fallen UK police officers.
“The tour is a chance to collectively ride in memory of fallen officers, to show that we as the police service will never forget officers’ sacrifice, raise awareness in communities and show family members that we care,” added Inspector Byfield.
This year, the tour has so far raised a staggering £100,000, making this their biggest fund raising effort o date. “We will definitely be back at the Holiday Inn Express next year and have already booked in,” declared Inspector Byfield. “No doubt by then we will be taking over the entire hotel.”
Background to the Unity Tour.
The Police Unity Tour originally started in 1997 with 18 cyclists making the journey from New Jersey to Washington DC. It has grown significantly with 1700 riders taking part in 2013 raising 1.72 million dollars for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. In 2013; Inspired by the massive fundraising efforts by the Police Unity Tour in the United States, two officers of the Metropolitan Police Rob Atkin MBE & Gary Byfield organised the UK’s first Police Unity Tour in aid of Care of Police Survivors, a U.K charity dedicated to helping the families of police officers who have lost their lives on duty.
COPS is dedicated to helping surviving families rebuild their lives after the death of a police officer on duty. It aims to provide the survivors with all the help they need to cope with such a tragedy whilst remaining part of the police family.
For further information visit www.ukpoliceunitytour.org