A Chief Officer at Merseyside Police will swap his uniform for running gear to compete in a 100km event for Alder Hey this weekend.
For the last two years, Assistant Chief Constable Ian Critchley has spent much of his free time training for, and taking part in running challenges across the country to raise money for worthy causes.
Ian, who has always been a keen runner, decided to put his love of running to good use last year, to raise the awareness of mental health within the police service and to raise money for charities who give so much support to people in need.
This year Ian has stepped up the pace and will be running in a 100km (62 mile) event in Derbyshire on Saturday 13 July to raise funds for Alder Hey Children’s Charity.
Ian explains: “Last year after facing a difficult period in my life I ran 12 events in a year to raise money, and more importantly awareness, for the mental health charity MIND.
"This included the Excalibur Hill marathon, the Ennerdale 30mile Ultra and a 24-hour challenge with Carl Foulkes, the previous Deputy Chief Constable of Merseyside Police and two other friends at Belvoir Castle. I’ve also found that running to help others through fundraising also has a great personal benefit both physically and mentally.
"In previous years I have raised money for the Children’s Society to protect vulnerable people from exploitation, and also for Vine House Preston who provide support to people being treated for cancer, including my dad. I have completed London, Manchester and the Preston Guild marathons.
"This year I decided to raise money for Alder Hey Children’s Charity. The first reason is that I have been lucky to have three healthy girls. The eldest of my children, who is now 18, along with my wife received pre-natal support from the health service due to significant problems in pregnancy and we remain eternally grateful.
“Secondly I spent a great deal of time last year in my privileged role as a senior police officer in Merseyside working with staff from Alder Hey and saw the amazing dedication and care provided to children and their families by Alder Hey staff.
"I also saw the impact that caring for a poorly child or dealing with the impact of a child being physically or sexually abused has on the child themselves, on their families and on the staff providing the care and response . So I thought this year I would seek to push myself further than I have before by running a 100km in beautiful Bakewell in July.
“Whilst the training has been tough (I have been doing about 50 miles a week) and the run itself will be challenging in the extreme, it will clearly pale into insignificance with what children with life threatening conditions go through.
"Any support I can get will be greatly appreciated and if you want to help me support the care of children at Alder Hey Hospital you can visit the Just Giving Page here."
Cath Harding, Head of Community Fundraising at Alder Hey, said: “We can’t thank Ian enough for supporting Alder Hey by undertaking such an amazing, and gruelling, challenge.
"With all the hard work and training that he’s put in we know he’ll smash the 100km and in doing so will make a real difference to the lives of our young patients and their families.
"All monies raised will help us to make Alder Hey Children’s Hospital a truly world-class, patient-friendly hospital for the 330,000 patients and families we care for every year by helping to develop our new healthcare campus, fund distraction technology designed to reduce pain and anxiety in patients and to buy specialist medical equipment."