Career as a roads policing officer
drives Richie to run marathon


A roads policing inspector, moved by the many fatal and serious collisions he has been called to during his career, is preparing to run a marathon to raise money for a road victims’ charity.

Insp Richie Barker, from Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Roads Policing Unit (BCH RPU), will take part in the virtual London Marathon on October 3, in support of the Road Victims Trust.

The 50-year-old, who has served as a police officer for nearly 30 years, has spent much of his career trying to make the roads a safer place for all.

The Road Victims Trust provides a unique service to families that have directly been affected by road death. The BCH RPU actively puts bereaved families in touch with the charity following a fatal collision, ensuring that they receive the specialist support that they need at this unimaginably difficult time.

Insp Barker, who will be running a marathon for the first time, said: “Unfortunately there are occasions when a loved one does not arrive at their intended destination.

“Instead, a police officer will knock at a door and pass on news that no one wants to hear. During the following months, invaluable support is given to the bereaved families by trained counsellors from the Road Victims Trust (RVT).

“I am running the marathon for the RVT so that this important work can continue.”

So far, Insp Barker has raised more than £1700 for the charity and is aiming to increase that figure over the coming week.

What could the money raised pay for?

• £10 would cover the costs ( with travel and supervision) of 30 mins of Face to Face Counselling to a bereaved person

• £20 covers a whole hour session

• £500 pays for the bespoke training costs of a Counselling Volunteer at the RVT

• £500 covers 6 months of bereavement support to a family or individual

• £1000 covers a whole year of bereavement support

Mark Turner, Chief Executive at the Road Victims Trust, said: “As a small and local charity, we rely heavily on the support and understanding of many people to enable the RVT to continue to provide emotional and practical support to over 500 persons per year. Any monies raised will go directly to supporting those at their lowest possible ebb.”

Runners in the 2022 virtual event will join a record 50,000 participants who will run the traditional London Marathon from Blackheath to The Mall.

The virtual London Marathon was held for the first time in 2020, when more than 37,000 runners, from all corners of the world, completed the race. The final finishing total of 37,966 means it has been awarded an official Guinness World Records title for the 'Most users to run a remote marathon in 24 hours.'

Donations can be made via Insp Barker’s Just Giving page here.

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