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Sussex officers on fundraising mission to support mental health

Published 20 Jun 2022
Written by
PC Kirsty McDermott
Sussex Police
Reading time
2 mins

Three Sussex Police officers will take to road and water in a team triathlon in September 22. They aim to raise vital funds for Police Care UK – and to #GetPoliceTalking about mental health.

APS James Bunkin, PC Matt Tear and PC Kirsty McDermott will take part in a team triathlon to raise cash for the charity which supports serving and retired officers who have suffered physical and psychological harm as a result of their job.

They aim to raise £9602 – an amount chosen to represent the number of officers who suffered with their mental health over the previous year.

APS Bunkin, who will be swimming during the event, wants to take part as he received help from Police Care when he suffered from depression and anxiety. He said:

Police Care were amazing, explaining what I needed to do in respect of obtaining continuing help… (Since then) I’ve learnt to keep talking, to check in on people in a meaningful way and allow emotions to come through rather than suppress them.  Having lived through my experience, I am passionate about removing the stigma within policing surrounding speaking up if we aren’t okay. It isn’t weak; it takes courage, strength of character and it is my view that it is sadly an inevitable fact that all the police family will at some point have a struggle. We are dealing with trauma on a daily basis, we would be inhumane if this didn’t take its toll.

PC Tear will be cycling during the event and PC McDermott will be running. Both have struggled due to the pressures of the job, and they have also bravely told their stories here: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/getpolicetalking

Since the trio started training for the event at the beginning of the year, they have collectively cycled 2,122 kilometres, swum 5,600 metres and run 1,117 kilometres - including PC Tear and APS Bunkin undertaking their first ever Park Run events! They have 90 days left until the event, and are attempting to go for gold!