Police officers prepare for ‘Light the Lakes’ charity climb in memory of PC Neil Doyle and PC Dave Phillips

On 18 May, three police officers took on a daylight recce of the ‘Light the Lakes’ climb ahead of the official challenge in June.

Light the Lakes is an event in aid of Care of Police Survivors (COPS) which is a charity that supports the families of police officers and staff who have lost their lives on duty. They provide practical and emotional support ensuring survivors have the help they need to cope with such a tragedy, ensuring they remain part of the police family.

The three men, Superintendent Chris Gibson and Constables Mark Hobin and Mark Cole made it to the top in 3 hours in what they described as “perfect” conditions.

In recent years, the three men have also planned, organised and participated in numerous other events in memory of fallen officers within Merseyside. They have also formed close relationships with the families of PC Dave Phillips and PC Neil Doyle, as well as continuing to do all they can to support COPS.

Superintendent Chris Gibson said, “Our police family is important and looking after each other is our priority. We will always ensure the safety and wellbeing of our wider friends and loved ones and will remember those, in any way we can, who have lost their lives whilst on duty.”

So what has been achieved already?

  • In 2015, following the tragic death of PC Dave Phillips, the officers organised a 6554 metre run within the area that Dave worked bringing colleagues and the community together raising significant funds for COPS and the Phillips family.
  • In 2017, the officers took part in a 24 hour non-stop walk covering 65.54 miles across the whole of Merseyside again in support of COPS and were greeted at the finish line by the Phillips family.
  • In 2018, the officers organised a charity event titled ‘Battle of the Emergency Services – Treadmill Challenge’.This was again to support COPS and the Fire Fighters Charity as representatives across each service ran on treadmills for 36 consecutive hours.
  • In 2019, the officers represented Merseyside Police by taking part in Light the Lakes. Officers from several strands and departments joined them in climbing Clough Head and at 3am joined colleagues from around the UK in lighting a blue flare on each of the Wainwright peaks within the Lake District.
  • In 2020, the officers organised the inaugural Doyle-Phillips challenge with the families of the fallen officers. Combining their collar numbers (13,498), the challenge was for participants to run, walk or cycle 13,498 metres. The event attracted officers from all over the country and raised a significant amount of money for COPS.
  • In March 2021, due to the ongoing pandemic, officers organised the second Doyle-Phillips memorial event, this time a virtual event. Colleagues from around the world, including America and Australia took part in the event raising over £20,000 for COPS.

To date the three officers have raised over £50,000 for COPS!

Supt Gibson continued, “Unfortunately, last year’s event was cancelled due to Covid but thankfully we have been given the green light to proceed with this year’s event in June.

“The official trek up Place Fell, Patterdale starts in the early hours of the morning, therefore it was important for us to practice the route in daylight. Three of the 13 officers and staff, either currently serving or retired, conducted the recce.

“We are excited to take on the trek again in June with the rest of our team and colleagues across the country. Once at the top, we will light a blue flare and for a short time, the night sky will be blue, representing The Thin Blue Line – our colleagues who have sadly lost their lives in the line of duty.”

Anyone that wants to support, please use this link – anything you can spare will be greatly appreciated.

The Doyle-Phillips challenge is conducted in memory of two fallen officers from Merseyside Police:

Merseyside Police constable Neil Doyle died during a night out in Liverpool city centre in 2014. He was attacked by two men, Andrew Taylor, of Cherry Tree Road, Huyton, and Timmy Donovan, of Walsingham Road, Childwall. The men were jailed for 14 years after being convicted of his manslaughter.

Merseyside Police constable Dave Phillips was killed in a hit-and-run incident in the early hours of October 5 2017 in Wallasey. The married dad-of-two was struck by a stolen red Mitsubishi pick-up that he was trying to stop. The popular officer had served with Merseyside Police on Wirral for almost a decade. Clayton Williams was jailed for 20 years for the manslaughter of Dave Phillips.

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