Jamie Alcock is driving Millie and Willam, two of his Shire horses, from his farm in Gloucestershire to Elgin in Morayshire to raise funds for a charity that helped support his brother through more than a decade of round-the-clock nursing care.
After a year of lockdown — during which Jamie rarely left the farm as he was classed as clinically vulnerable — he now has plans to hit the road for an eight-week fundraising trip to north east Scotland. Jamie starts his adventure with Millie and Willam on 5th June 2021 and plans to camp out with the horses along the 650 mile journey, which he estimates will take about eight weeks, and in Jamie’s words ‘give or take a decade or two!’
Jamie hopes to smash his fundraising target of £15K for his chosen charities – Police Care UK receiving 75% and The Fire Fighters Charity receiving 25% of donations. These independent charities both support serving and retired police officers and firefighters when they have been harmed as a result of their work.
Jamie undertakes this mammoth challenge in memory of his brother. PC John Alcock was an officer with Grampian police, stationed at Elgin in Morayshire, when he was involved in a car accident as he was heading to a royal protection shift at Balmoral in 2003. He suffered a devastating head injury and never regained consciousness. Some two years after the accident, John returned home to a hospital room that had been created at his house. He received round-the-clock care from two nurses, with help from a mixture of charities including Police Care UK.. Sadly, John passed away in 2017 and was buried with full Police honours at Garmouth, just north of Fochabers.
“As sad as it what happened to my brother was, the real inspiration was the way the police charities and federation responded, not just to what happened to him on the day but afterwards. They did a lot to help his partner and young son. He eventually received a big compensation payout, which was eaten up with care, but the charities wouldn’t take a penny back for what they had done,” Jamie said. “I have always thought that I could never repay them, but I know with what has happened with Covid in the last 12 months, charities have taken a massive hit and now I want to raise money to put it back in the pot to help other people.” Jamie said.
Police Care UK makes sure both serving and former police colleagues who suffer harm, and their families, have someone to turn to when things get tough. The charity believes everyone should understand the dangers police face every day, and how the harm they suffer can affect both them and their families. Around one in five police officers is living with some form of post-traumatic stress disorder, according to 2018 research by Police Care UK, with over 90 percent of officers and staff having been exposed to trauma and 65 percent not feeling this had been well managed. By providing a specialist and confidential programme of practical, emotional, and financial support, Police Care UK help more people effectively recover and rebuild their lives.
Police Care UK Chief Executive, Gill Scott-Moore says “We are very honoured that Jamie and his team are undertaking this huge challenge to support our charity. We see families that are significantly affected by the challenges of policing every single day and we are so very appreciative of anyone who supports us by raising funds to enable us to continue doing so. Jamie and his family must have had such a terrible time when his brother was sadly injured on duty, and we are glad we were able to support them at the time. We don’t ask for anything in return for what we do but we are so very grateful to Jamie, Willam and Millie and the rest of his support team. We wish him the very best of luck on his challenge and we’ll be there all the way!”
Jamie’s eight-year-old Shires Millie and Willam, will begin their journey on Saturday, 5 June, when they will be sent on their way by the chief constable of Gloucestershire and representatives of the fire and rescue service. They will be accompanied by Jamie’s collie Boo Boo Beithe, who will help with security, while Jamie is also inviting up to two people at a time to join him on his carriage for a donation of £30 per person.
Jamie has already had support pledged by his veterinary physiotherapist Vet Physio UK, who will treat the horses before and during the trip, and Carriagehouse Insurance, which has insured his journey at its own expense. The return transport for the horses and carriage is being paid for by CorrMed Medical Bags.
“I will always stay with the horses throughout the trip, but I am starting to get some generous offers of places we can stop.” added Jamie, who hopes to keep to a schedule of 20 miles a day.
You will be able to follow the journey in real time and see the intended route by clicking here >
You can also follow Jamie on Instagram and see how he is getting on! Straightfromthehorsesmouth2021
Should you have suitable accommodation (a field!) for Jamie and his four-legged companions along the route please email Jamie’s wife Katie who is looking after this side of the mammoth organisational tasks! mailto:email@example.com
Thank you Jamie and team! We wish you all the luck in the world!