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Surrey Police officers using world record attempt to shine light on mental health issues

Surrey Police officers using world record attempt to shine light on mental health issues

Mike Hickman says that in policing, they refer their colleagues as family.

That's why the Battersea man took the news so hard when Surrey Police officer Nigel Furlonger lost his battle with PTSD.

"Our work partners are often called work wives and work husbands, so l would liken losing a police officer, even if I had never met them to losing a member of the family," Mr Hickman said.


"I joined to keep people safe, and sometimes that means I see and deal with things that take a toll, that can be very hard.

"However, I honestly believe I have the most fantastic job in the world. I get to work with people I regard as close as family, I am working to keep my community safe and I am supported and developed in what I do."

Wanting to make a difference to his colleagues, as well as the community, he came up with an idea.

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Himself, 15 other people (mostly Surrey Police officers) and one dog will be taking part in a world record attempt to drag a police public order van the distance of a marathon around Battersea Park to raise money and awareness in the blue light sector.

"I wanted to raise money for a charity that supports mental health by doing a challenge that would help those you are involved to also come together as a team and support each other," he added.

"We understand that the path for recovery from mental health issues or losing a loved one might be long and hard, but working as a team, talking to people and sharing the load can make it easier."

The group have been training for about a year now and said getting to this point has been a hard slog.
"You can't go on the internet and google 'how do I train for a marathon truck pull'," he said.

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The type of van the group will be pulling

"So people have been trying loads of different things; strongman, Crossfit, volume weight training, ultra-marathons, the list goes on.

"I can be regularly seen in Battersea Park with my dog harnessed in front of me and a tyre harnessed behind me. One of the team harnesses up and pulls his kids up the mountains in Cumbria, another completed and ultra marathon with a tyre."

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Mike Hickman ready to train

The group will be attempting the record-breaking feat on September 6, but even if you aren't able to make it down and support them Mr Hickman says there is always something you can do to make an officer's day.

"Sometimes the smallest thing can make a difference," he added.

"Recently, we've had members of the public surprising officers by leaving flowers on their police cars, buying them cups of tea and paying for the police car behind them in the drive through.

"When you've come off a long shift where you've seen something awful, been spat at or had a ton of paperwork, sometimes someone just saying thank you can make it all worth it."

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