Police officer honoured for work supporting children with cancer

Pc Ceyhun Uzun after completing the 2019 Sydney Marathon.

Pc Ceyhun Uzun after completing the 2019 Sydney Marathon. - Credit: Met Police / Pc Ceyhun Uzun

A St John's Wood police officer was recognised in the New Year Honours list for helping to raise more than £200,000 for charity after personal tragedy. 

PC Ceyhun Uzun, who works as a schools officer, was given a British Empire Medal in this year's New Year's Honours list to mark his dedication to raising money and awareness of the rare cancer with which his daughter died, along with his innovative policing work helping to divert young people away from crime. 

PC Uzun's daughter Tanyel was diagnosed with an aggressive form of bone cancer in 2013. 

She passed away in 2016 aged just 20, and since then the police officer has worked to support children suffering from cancer, including by running numerous fundraising marathons around the world.

PC Uzun said: "In what became a daunting time for me after losing my only child, I managed to find the strength in fundraising to help other children suffering from cancer and helps me to keep my daughter’s name alive by setting up ‘Tanyel’s Smile.’"

His care and support for young people continues in his day job, where he has been a dedicated schools officer at Harris Academy St John's Wood. 

PC Uzun added: “My passion for my job continues and as a schools officer I continue to mentor, motivate and inspire children I work with.

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“I am honoured and extremely humbled to have been recognised and thank you everyone who has supported me.”

Tanyel's Smile is a charity PC Uzun founded in order to provide support to children with cancer in Northern Cyprus. He has completed three London marathons, including with colleagues dressed as TV cartoon characters the Thunderbirds, along with events in locations including Istanbul and Sydney. 

The charity was set up in honour of Tanyel's drive to help others even as she was suffering herself. She would spend summer holidays in Northern Cyprus and help other children in need. It works with the oncology ward at the hospital in Nicosia to support young patients.

In 2018 PC Uzun won a "special recognition" Met Police award. 

To find out more about Tanyel's Smile, visit tanyelssmile.org.uk