Tributes for tragic mother and baby girl

Police at the scene.

Police at the scene. - Credit: Archant

Emotional tributes have been paid to Valerie Forde and her baby daughter after their deaths this week.

Friends and neighbours said they were devastated by the news and described Ms Forde as a “caring” and “lovely” woman who was at the centre of the community.

Student nurse Afia Kwateng, 21, a friend of Ms Forde’s family, said: “She was really well known to the community. She helped everyone. She was very lovely.”

The Hackney Marsh Partnership, where Ms Forde worked, also paid tribute in a statement saying: “Valerie Forde worked as office manager at Hackney Marshes Partnership for the last eight years. Her colleagues and neighbours are devastated.”

Floral tributes were left near the scene as police investigators carried out forensic searches of the property.

A service was held at Wally Foster Community Centre in Homerton Road, where prayers were said for Ms Forde and her daughter.

More than 30 people packed into a small chapel in the centre, where friends wrote messages to Ms Forde before lighting candles to pay tribute to her.

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A book of condolence will be open at Hackney Marsh Partnership’s Kingsmead Kabin, mourners were told.

After the service, the Rev Angie Melaniphy said: “She was always at the centre of this community. She was lovely. She cared for everyone and every one loved her.”

Jeanna Sanderson, 34, godmother to Ms Forde’s daughter, Real-Jahzarah, said: “She was a bubbly child who liked dancing and always had a smile on her face.”

Ms Sanderson said Ms Forde also had three teenage children.

Fighting back tears, neighbour Joyce Zeene said: “She was like a sister to me.”