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Dagenham boy, six, gets surprise visit from traffic police during Queen’s Hospital NHS clap

PUBLISHED: 12:00 13 May 2020 | UPDATED: 11:27 15 May 2020

Aaron Roper, six, with officers from East Area's traffic unit. Picture: Tony Grimes

Aaron Roper, six, with officers from East Area's traffic unit. Picture: Tony Grimes

A six-year-old who is mad about police motorbikes was given his own helmet and shoulder pads during a surprise visit from the area’s traffic officers.

Aaron Roper, six, was given his own helmet and shoulder pads with his name on. Picture: Tony GrimesAaron Roper, six, was given his own helmet and shoulder pads with his name on. Picture: Tony Grimes

Aaron Roper and his mum Laura have been visiting the Queen’s Hospital car park in Romford every Thursday to clap for the NHS workers and other frontline staff.

The youngster, from Dagenham, dressed up in his police uniform each week and sat on his toy police motorbike during the applause.

However, he was left wondering why police officers would only turn up in their cars and not on a bike like his.

So Laura got in touch with the East Area traffic policing unit - which covers Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge - to arrange a surprise visit from some of the force’s bikers.

Aaron Roper sitting on a police motorbike. Picture: Laura RoperAaron Roper sitting on a police motorbike. Picture: Laura Roper

“He’s obsessed with motorbikes, especially with police motorbikes,” she explained.

“He’s been interested in them for about four or five months.”

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The officers let Aaron sit on a motorbike and pose for photos, as well as gifting him a few extras for his uniform - a helmet, shoulder pads with his name on and a badge.

Aaron Roper, six, was given his own helmet and shoulder pads with his name on. Picture: Laura RoperAaron Roper, six, was given his own helmet and shoulder pads with his name on. Picture: Laura Roper

Riverside Bridge pupil Aaron, who has special needs including global developmental delay and microcephaly, was delighted to meet the officers.

“I can’t thank the traffic police enough for surprising my little boy,” Laura said.

She explained that the pair started visiting their nearby hospital for the applause after nobody in her street went outside on Thursday evenings to take part.

She found out about the weekly hospital car park gathering through seeing pictures on Facebook, and added that she made sure they were socially distant from others who attended.

Aaron Roper, six, with officers from East Area's traffic unit. Picture: Laura RoperAaron Roper, six, with officers from East Area's traffic unit. Picture: Laura Roper

And there is a personal reason for Laura and Aaron to show their appreciation to staff at the Rom Valley Way hospital on a weekly basis.

“My son caught sepsis and he had to be admitted into the hospital,” Laura said.

“It’s our way of saying thank you to them.”

Each week, staff at the hospital step outside during the minute’s applause where they are joined by people living nearby for a socially-distant show of appreciation as part of a nationwide initiative to recognise the efforts of healthcare workers during the pandemic.


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