A TRIP to Cardiff to watch speedway, set Lesley Jackson on a course that ended up with her receiving a certificate from the Lord Lieutenant for her charity work.

It happened that the speedway event coincided with the country’s first ever Armed Forces Day - a day in which the nation recognises the those who risk their lives for their country.

“It was a lovely day so I came home and researched what Workington did.

"I discovered that one veteran had raised one flag - and that was it,” she said.

Enlisting friend Pat Lavin, the women began fundraising for a party for veterans for the second Armed Forces Day, 14 years ago.

Since then, the celebration has grown to a full parade with entertainment in the evening.

The two women have grown into a team and enough money has been raised that the group has been able to help cadets with their needs.

“It was lovely to get the award but I was a bit embarrassed because Pat has been with me since the beginning.

"I’ve been told I got it because I have a big gob - I am the one who rings the papers and so on to make sure we get publicity.”

It could also be that she gives much of her life to helping others.

She is the Morrisons supermarket community champion in Workington. This means she reaches out to the community in so many ways.

This could include washing up at an event, giving prizes or raffle items for charity functions or simply helping people.

“During lockdown I helped with some of the deliveries, and got to know people even by just saying hello through their door.

“When some of the elderly and vulnerable came back into the shop, you sometimes found that they were still quite nervous. If I saw them I would go and have a chat - just being there would help them settle down.”

Lesley, who is married to Tony, has been a scout leader for 29 years.

She also works behind the bar at the British Legion and is on the committee of the club.

She is proud of her three sons, Jamie and Matthew who both spent 10 years in the forces and Sam who is with the Cumbria Youth Alliance.

And, in case that is not enough, she and Tony have six grandchildren between them.