Police officer puts best foot forward for Wrexham Corps
published on 6 May 2021
A Wrexham police officer is running the London Marathon to help raise funds for The Salvation Army’s vital work with survivors of modern slavery.
Police Constable Stuart Roberts, 38, was inspired to take part after he worked closely with the church and charity’s Wrexham Corps while he was a community beat manager.
PC Stuart said: “I’d go to the corps a couple of times a week to speak to people who were homeless as a way of building relationships between the community and the police.
“Seeing the work that goes on at The Salvation Army inspired me to do the marathon. I was so impressed by the way they treat people and help anyone. I’ve seen how people have struggled during the pandemic, some have lost jobs and homes. I really think that had it not been for the help of The Salvation Army they could have continued with a life of crime or turned to crime to survive.
“Modern slavery and exploitation does exist in Wrexham, particularly among young people. The Salvation Army has been helping those affected and through them I have been able to build trust with victims and take action. The funds raised will make a big difference to helping prevent exploitation and protect the vulnerable.
“The team is full of wonderful individuals who support our communities in many ways. I’m proud to run for The Salvation Army team.”
PC Stuart had a sore start to his training having picked up a couple of injuries – but is now back on track.
He said: “I have never run a marathon before, so this is a big thing for me. I have a level of fitness and play football, but the impact of running on the road has not been kind to my knees and hips!
“The most I’ve run so far is 15 miles. I would get up at 5.30am to run before starting work at 7am. I’ve been out in snow and rain - all the elements. I’m enjoying it now because I can go out in the evenings and the weather is a bit warmer.
“I can’t wait to take part in the marathon. I hope it goes ahead with spectators as my family are going to come down to London to support me.”
Throughout the pandemic The Salvation Army in Wrexham, run by corps officers Captains Ian and Sandy Davis, has been helping rough sleepers, the isolated and lonely, and struggling families.
They regularly provided more than 80 hot meals a day to homeless people temporarily housed in hotels under the ‘Everyone In’ scheme.
Karen Edwards, the community manager at Wrexham corps, said: “We are so happy PC Stuart has chosen to run the marathon on behalf of The Salvation Army. This is the first time he will have run this distance and is already working hard on his training, which we are following closely! We are extremely grateful for his support.”
The London Marathon will be held on Sunday 3 October 2021. For those unable to travel to London there is also the Virtual London Marathon, which runners can complete on the same day over the course of 24 hours, wherever they are in the world.
To donate to PC Stuart click here.
If you are interesting in running the Virtual London Marathon or applying for the Physical London Marathon 2022 click here.