Students from London South East College’s Public Services course toiled through the night on Thursday to raise over £600 for the national charity Care of Police Survivors (COPS).
Eleven students took turns to row their way through a gruelling 24-hours and raise cash pledged from sponsors around the College. They planned the event themselves, pitched for an initial investment from the College and organised the schedule and venue. Their work on the event counts towards their Career Advantage records of achievement. Their target was to reach 200km, or over, in the time limit.
COPS is a charity 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 and support they need to cope with such a tragedy.
Cerys, 18, is planning to join the police but would like to study for a degree in either public services or criminology first. She said: “This charity is very close to the hearts of all the students taking part today. We all feel the Police aren’t appreciated anywhere near what they should be by the public. Recent events in London have shown us just how they put their lives on the line for us every single time they go on duty.”
Toby, 17, is also looking towards a career with the police. He was taking part in a work experience with the police on the day of the Westminster Bridge terrorist atrocity in March. He said: “I was attending a recruitment and training event at the Hendon Police College when the news broke of the attack. It was very soon afterwards that we were notified of the death of PC Keith Palmer. It was an awful moment and one I will never forget.
“The money raised from this Rowathon is just a small gesture of our appreciation towards all public servants who spend their lives protecting the public. When we sat down to plan the event, COPS was the first charity to be suggested and we voted unanimously to support it immediately.”
Heaven-Leigh, 18, also took part in the Rowathon and brought along Bobby the bear as their mascot. She said: “Each student did seventeen rowing sessions of ten minutes each time. I’m so glad my fitness levels measured up to the tasks; especially at 4am in the morning. I’m proud to have taken part in such a worthwhile challenge.”
Their tutor, Robert Burr said: “I’m very proud of the team and thrilled for them. They completed the task, raised well over their target sum and made valuable achievements to add to their coursework. This was as much a team-building exercise as it was a fund-raising event. They showed willingness, cooperation, teamwork and organisational skills; all of which are the qualities they will need if they are to work within the public and emergency services. Congratulations to the whole team.”
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