NEARLY 600 emergency workers have climbed the high peaks of the Lake District to light a beacon in memory of a Guildford police officer who lost her life.
The â€˜Light the Lakesâ€™ challenge was the last in a series of fundraisers held to remember Detective Constable Heather Cooper, who was killed in October last year.
A fund bearing her name was set up to support her two young children in the future, and the mountain climb was a â€œvery emotionalâ€ final tribute to a woman whose loss is still felt acutely by her family and former colleagues.
â€œIt was absolutely inspirational,â€ said Kieran Diamond, chairman of the Surrey Police Federation.
â€œThere were 174 teams climbing peaks, and to stand there and see all these lights pepper-potted across the peaks was just spectacular.
â€œThe locals came out to watch it â€“ one little old lady came up to us in the pub afterwards and said she came out at 4am to watch and gave us Â£20 for the fund.â€
He added that they had received an email from Heatherâ€™s parents thanking them for their support.
Mr Diamond added: â€œHeatherâ€™s former team were doing the walk and I donâ€™t think that loss will ever go away, but time will allow it to heal a little bit.
â€œIt was a very dignified ceremony in memory of Heatherâ€™s life.
â€œFor some people it will bring closure.â€
The fund, which was set up in the weeks following her death, has now raised nearly Â£40,000 â€“ four times the Federationâ€™s initial target â€“ and will help pay for her children Joshua and Isobelleâ€™s university education.