Croydon Volunteer Police Cadets complete 26-hour exercise challenge for NHS

A group of 10 to 18 year olds living in Croydon completed a 26-hour exercise challenge to raise money for the NHS, after not being able to volunteer in the London Marathon.

The Croydon Volunteer Police Cadets, also known as the VPCs were due to be running a water station at the event on April 26.

The Croydon Volunteer Police Cadets with their water stock for the event (before it got cancelled due to Covid-19) Pic: Croydon VPC JustGiving fundraising page

On learning it was cancelled, they decided to complete an exercise challenge, and were set out to complete one hour of exercise for every mile of the marathon, to raise money for the NHS and show their support for the work medical staff are doing during the pandemic.

Rebecca Pitt, Volunteer Police Cadet Coordinator said: “They usually meet together in different units across the borough of Croydon to learn about the police service and how it is carried out, as well as to give back to their community and develop life skills for their future possible careers. As well as many camps and to complete their Duke of Edinburgh Awards, great importance on acquiring their skills is imposed on assisting with local policing teams and community events, in Croydon and across London.”

The senior cadets, aged 13 to 18 years old and staff members split the 26 hours into 52 30-minute sessions throughout the 24 and 26 April. They completed the exercises from their homes, ensuring that they complied with the social distancing and lockdown rules.

Pitt said: “At the end of every 30-minute session they submitted their video evidence and handed over the virtual baton to the next cadet. We met together online to finish off the last 30 minutes together with a circuit session. Activities included running, cycling, table tennis, circuits, exercise video, weights, rugby, tennis, and rollerblading.”

The volunteer police cadets were set out with a goal to raise £260 through their donation page on JustGiving, and through that page have now reached £176, 67% of their goal through 15 donating supporters. However, with the help from GiftAid they have already raised £692.50 to go to the NHS combined charities.

The 26-hour exercise challenge is only one of the things they have achieved virtually over the last month during lockdown to continue supporting their community from the safety of their homes. Some further challenges and activities included: making posters and sending positive messages to NHS workers thanking them for their work, creating video messages of support to send to police cadets and officers in Mississippi, America, as they joined them in camp before the pandemic, created care packages for vulnerable neighbours in Croydon, wrote letters to elderly people in care homes, and more.

Next week, the volunteer police cadets’ group will be designing and creating wellbeing packs to be distributed to doctors and nurses at Croydon University Hospital as soon as the packs will get ready.

Their JustGiving page is still up and receiving donations for the NHS.

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