Award for 'inspirational' Braunston poppy supporter who has helped raise funds for 66 years

An award has been given to an 'inspirational' woman from Braunston who has supported the Poppy Appeal for 66 years.

Aileen celebrates 66 years of fundraising.
Aileen celebrates 66 years of fundraising.

Aileen Trathan, 80, first got involved with fundraising as a 14-year-old helping her mother Lily.

"My mother wouldn't let me do it on my own so we did it together," Aileen told The Gusher.

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She started door-to-door collecting alone after her mother died and carried on the tradition in the village.

Ian Byrnes, County Chairman for the Royal British Legion, presents Aileen with her award.

Aileen, who worked at a corset factory in Rugby for 44 years and then Maclaren's in Long Buckby, received a plaque and certificate for her long-standing dedication.

"I did the length of Braunston and until a few years ago I did my patch myself," she said.

"I have help now and although I don't do the door-to-door collecting, I still support the appeal and will continue to do so."

She said the years have passed quickly and she has no plans of hanging up her collecting tin just yet.

"It certainly doesn't feel like 66 years," Aileen said.

Giles Coleman, Community Fundraiser Northamptonshire for the Royal British Legion, paid tribute to Aileen.

He said: "Aileen has selflessly and tirelessly raised money for the Poppy Appeal for 66 years; she is truly an inspiration to us all.”

The presentation was made at Braunston Village Cafe after being postponed last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.