Cycling cops raise cash for Castlebrae

Tuesday, 19 April, 2011

A police officer, whose career-threatening injuries were described as 'amongst the worst I have seen' by a physiotherapist at the Police Treatment Centres, is now raising money for the charity.

Strathclyde officer John Kerr was a response team Sergeant in 2007 when he suffered three breaks to his shoulder during a serious skiing accident. He spent five hours in surgery while the breaks were repaired with various titanium plates and screws. John was left with very little movement in his arm and sought treatment at Castlebrae, the Police Treatment Centre in Auchterarder.

Over the course of a year John visited Castlebrae on four occasions, for two weeks at a time, where he underwent painful intensive physiotherapy treatment. He said: "I have no doubt that without the help of the physios at Castlebrae my arm would not have recovered to the extent that it has and I would probably be doing a different job now."

John has recently joined forces with two friends, John Laing and Mark McCabe, to compete in the Etape Caledonia cycle event to raise money for the Castlebrae. The 81-mile race takes place in Perthshire on Sunday 15 May.

John Laing has also received treatment at Castlebrae. Early in his career he suffered a back injury after he became involved in a struggle with a man he arrested. More recently he suffered a shoulder injury. On both occasions he received speedy treatment at Castlebrae.

John Laing, who works for Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMICS), said: "I can't speak highly enough of Castlebrae which has very experienced staff and provides the opportunity for intensive recuperation which I am in no doubt has speeded up my recovery and return to full operational fitness."

Mark McCabe, who works for Audit Scotland but recently completed a 15-month secondment to HMICS, is also supporting the cause. Mark said "My work with HMICS really showed me the challenges the police face in serving our communities, so I'm keen to help raise as much money as possible to support injured officers".

The money raised by the team will directly support the Thin Blue Line fundraising campaign. Just over £2 million is needed to building a new treatment and training pool and separate hydrotherapy pool at Castlebrae. A further £2.5 million will enable the extension and improvement of other clinical and fitness facilities, such as the physiotherapy department and sports hall.

Gemma Pettman, PR and Fundraising Manager for the Police Treatment Centres said: "Now more than ever, we need the support of police officers, their families and friends to help us ensure we have the best possible facilities to meet the needs of injured and ill officers from across Scotland and beyond. We rely on people like John and his friends to help us raise vital funds and I hope everyone will dig deep to support them."

If you would like to support John Kerr, John Laing and Mark McCabe as they tackle the Caledonia Etape you can do so by visiting:
and making a donation.

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