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Illuminating tribute to murdered policewoman Heather Cooper
A MURDERED policewoman from York would have been “very touched” and proud of charity fund-raisers’ efforts, an organiser has said.
Colleagues and friends of Heather Cooper took part in a night-time hike in the Lake District to boost a fund set up to help her two young children.
Heather, who grew up in Acomb, was killed in October and her body was found in woodland in West Sussex, where she served as a detective constable.
Following Heather’s death, Surrey Police Federation set up a trust to raise funds to support her children, Joshua and Isabelle, when they go to university.
To help boost the fund, DC Cooper’s former Surrey police colleague Sgt Ian Davis organised a Light The Lakes charity walk.
Sgt Davis said 594 people scaled 175 peaks after setting off in the early hours of Saturday.
At 4.30am a light at each peak was lit in Heather’s memory.
Sgt Davies said: “I lit my torch and nearly choked as hundreds of friends and colleagues did the same.
“As far as you could see you could see there were lights. We had lights, flares and sparklers. It was amazing. It was a sight and an experience that will stay with me always.
“This was an amazing tribute to a much-loved colleague by an amazing, if a little crackers, group of friends and colleagues.
“In years to come, Joshua and Isabelle will look at pictures and hear about what we all did in memory of their mum.”
He added that he thought Heather would have been “very touched” and “proud”.
One participant, Lu Drew, wrote on a Facebook page set up about the walk: “We had an amazing time. Love you Coops. Love your babies. Thank you xxx”
Another, Keith Baird, said: “Probably one of the most extraordinary and fulfilling nights of my life.
“The anticipation, the climb, the wait and then lighting our lamp on Scafell and seeing the twinkle of distant beams from the fells all around. A wonderful tribute.”
When the Heather Cooper Children’s Fund was set up last November, fund-raisers set the initial target at £10,000. By February, the fund had grown to £28,000 and the target was changed to £30,000.
Current donations stand at £40,000 and the hike is thought to bring in tens of thousands of pounds more. The appeal will finish next month.