Stowmarket police cadet leader inspires charity walk

PCSO David Harvey, right, receives the Sheepshanks Trophy from Lilias Sheepshank (OBE)
PCSO David Harvey, right, receives the Sheepshanks Trophy from Lilias Sheepshank (OBE)
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A Stowmarket police cadet leader who is recovering from a heart attack says he has been left ‘overwhelmed and humbled’ by his unit which is taking on a charity walk in his honour.

PCSO Dave Harvey, 49, suffered a heart attack in May following the death of his father and has praised the care he received at West Suffolk Hospital’s cardiac unit.

Left to Right: Acting Inspector Andrew Martin (far left), PCSO Dave Harvey (sitting down) and PCSO Phillip Brill (far right) who is involved with the unit.

Left to Right: Acting Inspector Andrew Martin (far left), PCSO Dave Harvey (sitting down) and PCSO Phillip Brill (far right) who is involved with the unit.

As a thank you to the hospital, 15 Stowmarket Volunteer Police Cadets will walk 15 miles on July 8 from their base at Stowmarket High School to the Bury St Edmunds hospital in aid of the My WiSH charity.

The father-of-three and award winning PCSO launched the cadet unit in May last year with Acting Inspector Andrew Martin and they run it together with the Stowmarket Safer Neighbourhood Team.

They volunteer a lot of their free time to make the unit a success and the Mr Harvey says it was a ‘great release’ during tough times.

Insp Martin said: “For a man who has been under the challenges he’s had for the last 12 months, to put the level of effort has into the cadets, is unbelievable.

“The cadets all really look up to Dave.”

Mr Harvey said: “I’m overwhelmed and humbled that the cadets have come up with this.”

It is the unit’s first charity event and they aim to raise £3,000 for My WiSH to be split between the Cardiac and Macmillan Units at the hospital.

They chose Macmillan as a tribute to Mr Harvey’s father John, who died aged 72 in April after a battle with liver cancer, and colleagues’ loved ones who have been affected by cancer.

John Harvey was Stowmarket Town Warden and managed day to day resources within the town centre as well as the market.

Mr Harvey showed signs of a heart attack on the day of his father’s funeral in May when he started to suffer chest pains.

When they became gradually worse the following day, he was rushed by ambulance to hospital.

After treatment and being prescribed medication, he is now recovering and is due to return to work next month.

Mr Harvey is already back involved with the cadets.

Last week he was awarded The Sheepshanks Trophy at Suffolk Police’s awards ceremony for his work with partner agencies to reduce the risk of child sexual exploitation.

He has built up a ‘life time of skills’ working with young people having previously worked with teenagers with extreme challenging behaviour at a care home.

He also ran a youth football team for Stowmarket Town for 10 years.

Since starting the unit, they have gone from 12 to 19 cadets and are looking to expand to 24.

Mr Harvey said: “The whole unit has been a massive success, right from the very beginning. It’s a real testament to the hardwork of not only the leaders but the commitment of the cadets.”

The cadets are aged between 13 and 18 and meet at Stowmarket High School on Saturday from 10am to noon learning some basic police skills and volunteering at community events.

To donate visit www.justgiving.com/westsuffolktrek

To join the cadets, visit www.suffolk.police.uk/join-us/volunteers/police-cadets