Sian Sloper behind the Ride of Respect in memory of Andrew Harper

Sian Sloper behind the Ride of Respect in memory of policeman Credit: ITV News Meridian

Three months ago, we began our search for the ITV Meridian Fundraiser of the Year, as part of the Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards, and while there can't be an awards ceremony this year, we couldn't let the year pass without celebrating those local heroes.

All this week, we'll tell you about our region's four finalists and on Friday, we'll be crowning one of them as the Meridian winner.

Sian Sloper

When PC Andrew Harper lost his life last year, Sian was so moved she decided to organise an event in his memory and raise money to help his family. 

  • Report by ITV News Meridian's Mel Bloor:

In October of last year, a sea of thousands of motorbikes took to the roads of Oxfordshire in an extraordinary show of solidarity.

In memory of Andrew Harper - a police officer killed on duty - the aim of the Ride of Respect was to bring the community together and offer a grieving family hope in their time of despair.

Andrew Harper was killed while on duty in August 2019.

The event, which raised an incredible £33,000, was organised by Sian Sloper.

A fan of trucks and bikes, and anything with an engine, the 31-year-old mum of three dedicated two months to organising road closures and safety measures - as interest in the ride went viral.

People came from across the UK to take part in the ride, including Jonny Mallion and David Kennedy from Reading.

Yeah it was great. Just a real buzz about the day and a real sense of community between all the motorcyclists as well.

Johnny Maillion- Motorcyclist

Sian, she's been wonderful, she's worked endlessly, tirelessly, and I'm sure it was a big relief to see the day going as well as it did.

David Kennedy- Motorcyclist

PC Harper, who was based at Abingdon station, was a motorcyclist himself. His wife Lissie rode passenger on her late husband's bike, to lead the convoy. 

Andrew's wife Lissie rode passenger on her late husband's bike, to lead the convoy. 

I didn't realise that Andrew even rode a bike at the time so for that to transpire was even nice. It gave the family I think something positive to look forward to and I like t think they has a really lovely day and given the terrible circumstances I wanted something positive to come out of it.

Sian Sloper

The money raised from the event was split between PC Harper's family and three different charities.

It was Sian's friend Laura who decided to nominate her for Local Fundraiser of the Year.

  • Laura Da Silva- Sian's friend

Sometimes, it's the small ideas that can make a big difference.