Posts Tagged 'charity'

Witness the fitness…


On December 16th our own Superintendent Fraser will be scaling Brum’s thirteen tallest buildings to raise money and awareness for the SuperJosh Charity, care to help him out with a donation or two? (Image from Tony Hisgett)

Stairs. The nemesis of mankind. Jutting, jagged obstacles forcing even the fittest of us to tremble at the thought of their ascent.

Stairs are why lifts were invented. And escalators. The travelators. Three mechanisms designed entirely so that us poor humans need not risk life-threatening exhaustion putting one foot in front of the other in an endeavour to haul our ill-prepared frames up a forty five degree incline.

Well, that’s what I think about stairs anyway.

But enough about me, you’re probably now thinking what other police officers think about stairs and the challenge they present?

Former Walsall officer and now HQ based Superintendent Fraser for example?

Well, either out of a love of stairs or a hatred of the convenience offered by the good people at Otis, on the 16th of December Mr. Fraser will be ‘manually’ climbing the thirteen highest buildings in Birmingham.

He’s doing this to raise money and support for the SuperJosh Charity who assist children with brain tumours and post surgery disabilities.

To suit the superhuman endeavour that this challenge represents, Mr. Fraser will be dressing up as a super hero himself and whilst Spider-Man is the most popular choice at the moment, appropriate suggestions are welcome for alternate costumes.

You can support the challenge in a number of ways depending on how athletic you’re feeling.

First of all, you can consider making a donation to the event by heading over to the funding page and giving whatever you feel you can spare.

You can also help by promoting the event giving the #Brum13peakchallenge hashtag an airing or two on Twitter and hitting the share buttons on the event’s website to let people know it’s happening.

If you’d like to take part yourself – and other members of the emergency services are particularly welcome as are members of the public – then please send an email to with your contact details.

Any help would be greatly appreciated by the benefactors of the charity so please, dig deep!

Summer’s here and the time is right for dancing in the streets!

Less than a week after I was freezing my handcuffs off up Kinder Scout it appears that Summer has now made an appearance and what’s more, I have it on good authority that we’re going to enjoy an unbroken period of warm, sunny weather right the way through to mid-September.


Because we’re British and better equipped to talk about the weather than actually cope with it, we often do funny things when the sun has got his hat on.*

Napkins will be worn on heads, topless blokes will be dragged down the high street by their angry looking dogs and women will be reaching for the Summer wardrobe brought in anticipation three years ago from a shop that apparently had not ready access to mirrors in its changing rooms.

Nice as the hot weather is, it doesn’t reduce the chance that an antisocial so and so with an attitude problem might try to lodge something sharp and pointy in us officers.

This being the case, we have no choice but to go on wearing our fashionable Summer 2013 range of stab vests, equipment harnesses and belts.

Some officers cope by drinking a little more, patrolling on the shaded side of the street or in the case of PC Ian Northcott, banging out a rather good version of Wonderwall for shoppers near New Street to raise money for the homeless.

As my tutor during my first eighteen weeks at the WMP ‘police academy’ back in 2010, Ian had impressed on the class the importance of having a decent social consciousness when it comes to approaching policing.

To this end each year he runs his ‘Socks and Chocs‘ initiative during which socks, chocolates and sleeping bags are donated to those who have found themselves living homeless in the West Midlands.

Last year fifteen hundred pairs of socks were donated, along with a thousand pieces of chocolate and sixty sleeping bags.

You can find out more about Socks and Chocs here and if you would like to help – perhaps you have some ‘spare’ chocolate laying around – then please get in touch by sending a quick message to

As in reality it’ll probably be snowing again by the end of the week, now is a great time to help get those less fortunate than ourselves in a better position to cope with life on the streets.

As Ian would say, “Maybeeee you’re gonna be the one who saaaaaaavveees me”!

* Hip, hip, hooray.

The soldiering life…

Biscuits for the boys: PC Emma Smith with Walsall Police boss Chief Superintendent Dave Sturman and her charity relay bin.

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce to you A Unit Response’s very own PC Emma Smith. A candidate for ‘nicest police officer in Walsall’, Emma is probably the happiest, rosiest, most talkative officer I know.

Now allow me to introduce Emma’s twenty year old son, Jamie Clarke, who at this very moment is sweltering away in the heat of Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, working long shifts with 857 Squadron to keep the Navy’s Sea Kings in the air.

Jamie only went out to Afghanistan a couple of weeks ago and it’s an understatement to say he’s missed by Emma, as are the rest of the lads from the squadron.

Wanting to do something in return for her son and 857 Squadron, Emma has started a ‘bin relay’ during the course of which she is sending decorated collection bins around Walsall’s police stations. Each time the bin lands it is being filled with goodies to send out to Afghanistan, for example sweets, toiletries and clothing.

Several of Walsall’s local businesses have lent their support to the relay and have been very, very generous in making donations which has really helped get the collection off to a good start.

Further donations though are always welcome and if you’d like to pitch in and say thanks to our boys then please feel free to give the Partnerships Team a call at Walsall Police Station on 0845 113 5000 or alternatively, get in touch by leaving a comment on this blog or send me a message on Twitter.

The sort of thing Emma and the boys are looking for includes biscuits, sweets, roll on deodorant and shower gel etc.

Chocolate can’t be sent as it doesn’t get on too well with the forty degree heat but if you’re thinking sweets then think Haribo as they are very popular on the front line.

Thank you in advance!

So let them say your hair’s too long, ’cause I don’t care, with you I can’t go wrong…

The A Unit Response 'Mo Bros' - Bottom row from left to right - PC Latham, PC Elliot, PC Price, Top row - Me, PC Smallman, PC Smith, PC Foster, PC Tong, PC Nogueira*

For many on the A Unit Response Team at Walsall Police Station, November has been a long, challenging month.

This hasn’t been because of depressing reports about the state of the economy, worrying news of disorder abroad or even downright dull weather.

It’s been because many of us have been growing moustaches.

First of all I’ll have to include a disclaimer that as you can see from our photo, some have been more successful than others. Some members of the shift have shown that summonsing up a big old manly moustache takes no more effort than it does to put on a pair of police trousers or say ‘Ello Ello Ello’ to a member of the public.

Others have been forced to face up to the fact that they just weren’t born with the ability to grow anything more than what many, many mean people – often total strangers – have labelled ‘fluff’.

Our various successes aside, our simultaneous sprouting of lip slugs has all been in aid of ‘Movember‘ – the charity moustache growing event held each year to help raise awareness and funds for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer.

Last year the awesome power of the moustache was harnessed to raise over £48 million with just under half a million individual moustaches contributing.

The event hopes to help change the attitudes us men have towards our health, trying to convince us that we might benefit a little from seeing the doctor a little more frequently and increasing our chances that cancers can be diagnosed early enough to be treated.

Despite the fact that we’ve all looked rather silly for the past month (or in one or two cases, much better), everybody seems to have enjoyed the event and there’s been some good banter fostered by our bristling top lips. Many a parade has been spent discussing different moustache styles and barely a shift has gone by without one moustache-laden police officer saying to another “Hey mo bro, want a hand with anything?”.

Whilst our moustaches now will likely have been shaven off to mark the passing of Movember and the coming of the much more sensible December, during which we get to eat Advent chocolate for breakfast, we’re looking for any kind donations you may feel compelled to make to help celebrate us reaching the height of our silliness.

Donations of any size, shape or currency can be made through our team’s ‘Mo Space’ profile and will be greatly appreciated by men worldwide, even the ones who think their Movember moustaches actually look good and are considering keeping them…

* Absent is PC Jeffries who became a dad again earlier this week so congratulations to him and his bushy moustache! Also missing is PC Bathgate who had cultured a particularly impressive pencil style effort. It will be sorely missed.

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