Police Interceptors have helped raise more than £9,000 in memory of their colleague PC Gavin Smith.
The money was raised at an afternoon tea event in aid of Butterwick Hospice which 350 fans attended on January 2.
PC Gavin Smith who died of cancer in February 2017, had been with Durham Constabulary for 12 years and worked with the Roads Policing Unit at Spennymoor station. He was also a star of the show Police Interceptors on Channel 5.
His widow, Kezi Smith and daughter Tilly attended the event. Kezi said: “It was a real comfort to us after Christmas, where we all missed Gav terribly.
“A great way to start the new year. The Interceptors did Gav proud and it was fantastic to see them joining in the spirit of things, even auctioning themselves off to raise extra cash. I am really thankful to all those involved as their effort was evident throughout.
“Butterwick Hospice is such as a well-deserving charity.”
PCSO Lisa Hall who organised the event held at Hardwick Hall, said: “It was amazing and the amount raised blew me away. It took a lot of hard work but it was certainly worth it in the end. Everyone loved meeting the guys and they did a great job at interacting with guests, both young and old. The feedback has been great. I even shed a tear at the end.
“I never met Gav personally but after hearing colleagues speak of him and knowing how well thought of he was, I just wanted to do my bit to help.”
An auction raised £3,085 and prizes included a dinner date with an Interceptor, tour around HQ, a ride out a police vehicle and a training session with the police dogs.
Capital FM presenter Martin Lowes hosted the afternoon and the Durham Constabulary male voice choir performed at the event, as well as entertainment from Marko’s Circus Workshop and Happy Faces Face Painting, which all provided their services for free.
Helen Kirby, a fundraiser at Butterwick Hospice, said: “It was such a well-organised day and all the officers were such good sports. The kids all really enjoyed it.
“The money raised will go towards helping families like Gavin’s in the local community.”
Chief Constable Mike Barton, Deputy Chief Constable Jo Farrell and Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner Ron Hogg were all present.
Mr Ron Hogg said: “It was a brilliant afternoon for a very worthy cause. A great demonstration of how fantastic the officers we have working in Durham are. They really do go above and beyond. Many hours of their own time has been put into the planning and preparation to this excellent event.”