Fraserburgh MoD police officer leads team on 350-mile challenge in support of police dogs

A group of Ministry of Defence Police officers have raised more than £2,000 for a dog welfare charity by running and cycling 350 miles around Aberdeenshire.

By Kevin McRoberts
Thursday, 2nd September 2021, 11:16 am
Updated Thursday, 2nd September 2021, 11:16 am
PC Phil Duncan and PD Hörbi.
PC Phil Duncan and PD Hörbi.

PC Phil Duncan (41), from Fraserburgh, and his colleagues set out on their 12-hour running and cycling challenge around CNI St Fergus to raise funds for the Thin Blue Paw Foundation, a welfare charity supporting working and retired police dogs.

Dog handler Phil led the team after being inspired by his MoD general purpose police dog, PD Hörbi.

He said: “The Thin Blue Paw Foundation has supported retired police dogs I know and, one day, Hörbi may need their help. I wanted to do something to support their wonderful work and help ensure that retired working dogs will be able to get the medical treatment they need.”

Some of the team at the start of the challenge, from left, PC Mark Grey, PC Dan Barry, PC Philip Duncan, PS Chris Shepherd and PC Andy Brown.

After word spread of his challenge, eight of PC Duncan’s colleagues signed up to get involved and, between them, they managed to run and cycle 350 miles: PC Phil Duncan ran and cycled a total of 50.52 miles; PC Andy Brown ran and cycled 42.8 miles; PC Mark Grey ran and cycled 36 miles; PC Scott Massie cycled 59.93 miles; PS Chris Shepherd ran 11.25 miles; PC Claire Woodcock ran and cycled 27.27 miles; PC James Gorham ran 6.8 miles; PC Dan Barry cycled 100.76 miles; and PC Ollie Smith-Mearns ran 3.7 miles (during deployable time whilst on duty).

Thin Blue Paw Foundation co-founder Kieran Stanbridge said: “PC Duncan and his colleagues took on an incredible challenge and have done an amazing job.

"Every single pound they’ve raised will help us to help our unsung heroes once they retire from public duty.

“Many people don’t realise that police dogs don’t get pensions when they retire and can often have injuries or conditions caused by their tough working lives which need management that can be very expensive. This is a huge responsibility for their new owners and we set up the charity to help families ensure that their beloved dogs can have the treatment they need so they can enjoy long, happy and healthy retirements.

Taking a breather during the day, front, from left, PC Philip Duncan and PC Andy Brown,; back, PC Mark Grey, PC Dan Barry and PC Claire Woodcock.

“We couldn’t do what we do without the support of our sponsors, and donations from the public and amazing fundraisers like the Scottish Ministry of Defence team.”

PC Phil Duncan having finished his challenge.