Andover Police take on Man Vs Coast Challenge to raise money to fight ASB in town

TWO police officers from Andover took on a grueling 25-mile challenge to raise money to tackle anti-social behavior in the city.

On July 2, Sergeants Jeremy Hayward and Stu Harris took on the Man vs Coast challenge, which saw the duo start in Penzance and tackle a mix of swimming, running, climbing and scrambling, ending at Land’s End.

Sgt Hayward said: “About 18 months ago I messaged [Stu]. I wanted to do something like SAS: Who Dares Wins, but I was too old for that. He left and came back to me with the Man Vs Coast plan.

Credit: mybibnumber/Jeremy Hayward

“I’m not the strongest in the water, let alone in open water. I have never run more than 10 km. So I had to do a lot of training.

The officers aimed to raise awareness and funds for two causes: PTSD999, which provides support for emergency service workers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and the Yellow Brick Road Project, a charity working with young people in Andover to help them overcome trauma.

Police have worked closely with the organization to find ‘proactive and non-reactive’ ways to deal with the rise in anti-social behaviour. In April, the Hampshire Constabulary announced the launch of Operation Solar, a program to address the problem.

SEE ALSO: ‘Tackling anti-social behavior remains one of our priorities’: Police operation launched to quell unrest in Andover town center

Sgt Hayward, who has been in the force for 22 years, continued: “With a PCSO, I’m in charge of Operation Solar, and instead of just telling the kids to go away, we wanted to put in place some sort of solution for them as well.”

They have organized Duke of Edinburgh’s Award initiation sessions, where young people can take part and take part in a range of activities.

“But all of that costs money,” Sgt Hayward said.

The 52-year-old continued: ‘Police don’t always have the best image, but if they can see what we want to do for them, that might just help break down those barriers.

Andover Advertiser: Credit: mybibnumber/Jeremy HaywardCredit: mybibnumber/Jeremy Hayward

Sgt Hayward added: “I think it’s a post-Covid thing. Now is the time to try to get them on board, give them a positive experience and tell them “we believe in you, we trust you”.

“The city means a lot to me, I have lived there all my life. It’s not just a local problem but, for some of these young people, all they need is an opportunity. It’s the least we can do. »

So far they have raised over £700, surpassing their initial goal of £500.

For more information or to donate, visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jez-hayward-manvcoast

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