Saturday was a very special day for the Cottle family and for the residents of Dagenham who saw four mounted police officers ride through the east London streets.
Locals came out of their houses to see the special event and take pictures of the beautiful horses and their riders waving at residents.
However, the officers were there for a very specific reason and that was to visit the Cottle family who sadly lost their little girl Ava on Mothering Sunday to Leukemia. The beautiful little two year old had fought a very brave battle against cancer and had spent half of her life in lockdown unable to do the things most children could do as she had to shield. But, despite this she was able to meet police horses earlier in the year who came down to Dagenham to see her and they were able to put a big smile on her face as she had the opportunity to stroke them.
Ava left such an impression on the police officers that when a new horse arrived they decided to name the four year old ‘Ava’ in her memory.
Saturday four officers from the Met Police Mounted Branch, alongside Chief Inspector Neal Donohoe from East Area came with a framed photograph of police horse Ava to present to the Cottle family. The event was very moving and left everyone with tears in their eyes.
“It means a lot to have a police horse named after your daughter, it is amazing, it really is. We needed this day, we needed everything to go great today for Ava. Thank you to everyone,” Cherrie told the Havering Daily.
Police horse Ava will be a ceremonial horse and Cherrie and her family will have the opportunity to go and meet her.
Thank you to our fantastic Met police officers who were able to make a broken hearted family very happy. As always, you are amazing and our community heroes.