Virtual Police Unity Tour raises £80,000 for Care of Police Survivors

Thursday, 12 November, 2020

More than 220 riders took to their virtual and real saddles last month – and raised in excess of £80,000 for Care of Police Survivors (COPS), the charity that supports the families of police officers and staff that die on duty.

The Police Unity Tour (PUT) is an annual sponsored cycle ride that is a key fundraiser for COPS, but this year it mainly had to take to the virtual streets as the pandemic meant the group physical ride couldn’t happen.

PUT cofounder Chief Superintendent Rob Atkin MBE said: “When we realised the physical event couldn’t go ahead, we decided we couldn’t just skip a year so we went virtual. Riders had to commit to cycle 100 miles in ten days and raise at least £100, I’m really delighted with the result, we smashed the target.”

The regular ride sees officers cycling from all corners of the UK and converging on the COPS annual service of remembrance at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. This year’s virtual PUT took place at the end of October and saw riders covering the 100 miles on exercise bikes in their front rooms, Zwift online groups and some taking to roads around their homes.

Rob, who is also a trustee at COPS, added: “There was a huge amount of enthusiasm for the virtual ride, so much so that we may make it an annual event to compliment the physical PUT.”

COPS chief executive, Tim Buckley, said: “This is a huge amount of money that has been raised by the PUT riders we could not be more delighted. It’s been a really tough year for fundraising and a boost like this means we can continue, and develop, our work for the families of officers that die on duty.

“We owe a massive debt of gratitude to Rob and all the PUT team for their hard work and support – COPS couldn’t do what it does without them.”

Return to news menu