The father of Light the Lakes, retired PS Ian Davis, organised the first event on 28th April 2012, where some 594 Police Officers, colleagues and friends climbed Wainwright peaks in the Lake District to raise money to support the orphaned children of murdered Surrey DC Heather Cooper. The event raised in excess £30,000.
Following what had been a devastating number of years for the police family, Ian decided to continue the format in aid of the charity COPS (Care of Police Survivors). The dream of Ian has always been to cover all 214 Wainwright fells to light lamps in honour of our fallen colleagues. Whilst the 2012 event was the closest Ian came to reaching this goal, it has not stopped him trying.
In May 2015, Ian announced he was stepping down from organising the main event. He continues to participate and is keen to embark of different peaks.
One of Ians strong supporters was previous Chief Constable of Cumbria Stuart Hyde, who himself has publicly applauded the efforts of Ian Davis in starting the event and keeping the momentum going.
In 2016 Wainwrights Beer began to sponsor the event whilst a team inspired by Ians passion took over the running, with an ambition to reach a wider audience. The team now consists of DS Vinny Wagjiani, DS Gary Hutchings, PS Wayne Carter, Laura Darby and Tomasz Czerko.
Whilst the team may have changed over the years, the passion and determination to remember those we have lost in the Police service has not.
Wainwrights Beer continue to support the event and we are seeing year-on-year growth in attendance. The 2018 event was particularly successful and with it being a very clear night climbers were able to see many peaks around them being lit. Light the Lakes has fostered a hunger in people to find an inspirational peak for their next challenge.
Lighting those peaks is a time of reflection for our Police family. Many of us have lost friends and colleagues and Light the Lakes gives us a chance to continue to remember them by lighting that blue flare.
The Police family are of course also part of their local communities and Light the Lakes is therefore an event for everyone. In 2018 we saw parents and children camping up on the fells, whilst friends and family members climbed alongside their police colleagues.
Now Vinny and the team have begun planning Light the Lakes 2019 and want to make it even better. Please join us for Light the Lakes 2019 to try and get many more Peaks lit up across the Wainwright fells and to raise money for COPS (Care of Police Survivors).