Wiltshire Police wins international men's health award
Wiltshire Police has won an international award after a team of officers and staff was recognised for raising awareness and thousands of pounds for a men's health charity.
Last year was the fifth year that the force took part in Movember - an international charity raising money and awareness around testicular and prostate cancer and mental illness - where officers and staff were encouraged to grow moustaches during November to raise cash for this good cause.
The Team Movember Award was given to representatives of the police team at the glitzy Mo Awards last night (27/02) in London.
The Wiltshire Police team raised nearly £4,000 in November last year, taking its overall fund raising total for the last five years to more than £18,000.
Insp Pete Sparrow, who led the fundraising over the past five years and joined the celebrations last night, said: "This cause is one very close to my heart.
"What we like to call the Wilts-Hair Mostabulary started as fun, but like the hairy top lip, it's grown.
"It's amazing how my many colleagues have come on board to support this great charity and cause.
"Over half emergency service workers seek help due to stress & poor mental health. In addition we have team members who have faced cancer. Movember is so important on many levels - raising money to battle these illnesses but also getting people to talk about the serious messages behind it.
"I feel humbled that we have won; there may have been three of us representing the force last night but this recognition is for everyone in our team who played a part in Movember last year and over the years."
Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said: "I am extremely proud of what Pete and his Movember team have done - especially being recognised at an international level for the amount of work the Wiltshire team has carried out to raise the profile of men's health, not to mention the large amount of money raised too.
"Cancer and poor mental health are two of the biggest battles to face anyone through their lives, but being able to highlight it and talk about it cuts the stigma and helps those who are suffering; Movember certainly supports that."
Angus Macpherson, Police and Crime Commissioner, said: "Congratulations to Pete and team - this is fantastic news.
"Mental health still carries a negative label and the publicity and support Movember gives helps to change that.
"I, along with the Chief Constable, have signed up to the Blue Light Pledge which is our way of supporting staff and officers in Wiltshire Police who find themselves struggling with any problems linked to their mental health.
"It's heartening to see that work boosted by Movember and the great amount of fundraising and positive publicity Pete and his team have raised within our force.
"Well done team on getting this prestigious award."