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A Basildon woman who is as old as the Queen was able to see one of the community beacons lit in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee thanks to her friendship with two police community support officers.
Eileen, 95, was jubilant after being taken to the beacon lighting in The Paddocks, off Pound Lane in Laindon, by Basildon PCSOs Daniel Brady and Kyli Nice, last night, Thursday June 2.
She was born in 1926, the same year as Queen Elizabeth II.
Eileen was befriended by the duo more than two years ago at the start of the first national lockdown while they were out on patrol in Basildon town centre.
Daniel says: “Eileen had gone out on her own for a coffee and had a wobbly moment so Kyli and I went over to help her and make sure she was alright.
“Since then, we’ve become firm friends and we see her about once a month to check she is doing ok.
“And we take her to St Nicholas’ Church services in Laindon, where we hold Coffee with Cops events afterwards.”
Eileen says she doesn’t know where she would be without Daniel and Kyli’s friendship. She says she has been lonely since her husband Fred, who served in the Royal Air Force during World War Two, died in 1993.
They had owned a café in Poplar together before his death.
“I have got some wonderful people around me, including Daniel and Kyli who keep an eye on me as I’m a cheeky old girl, really,” says Eileen.
“I miss my Fred dearly but I’m honoured that Daniel and Kyli are my friends.”