Praise for hardworking BwD community hero raising funds for Poppy Appeal

Published Wednesday 9 November 2022 at 13:13

A community hero has been praised for his 13-hour days – juggling work while raising vital funds for the Poppy Appeal.

Alan Taylor, affectionately nicknamed ‘Spud’, is well known across Blackburn for his hard work and dedication in keeping the town centre looking its very best as part of the Council’s Cleansing Team.

As well as his day job, Alan also spends his spare time maintaining War Graves at Pleasington Cemetery and each November runs a fundraising stall for the Royal British Legion.

He’s currently starting his working day at 6am and finishing at 7:30pm so he can break off during the day to man the stall – provided for free by Blackburn Market.

Praising his efforts, Councillor Phil Riley, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said:

Alan’s hard work and dedication is outstanding and he shows us all what community spirit is all about.
He stands out for his passion for keeping the borough clean and he is a familiar figure in the town centre.
He is also well-known for dedicating his time attending to the war graves which doesn’t go un-noticed to our residents.
In the run up to Remembrance Sunday, we will be thinking of all those who have lost their lives as well as the ones keeping the fallen ones spirits alive and of that, Alan is doing a great job.

Alan, who used to run the sarsaparilla stall on the market, was also recently highly commended in the council’s Community Hero category of their new staff awards.

Alan said:

Working as part of a team is what matters and I work with lots of others to help keep the streets clean, but to have been able to be recognised as an individual is a great achievement.
“I have dedicated my time to cleaning the War Graves and volunteering for the Poppy Appeal over the years because I want to make sure that the soldiers are never forgotten.

This year, Alan has teamed up with friend and local artist, Stephen Gent to raffle off one of his paintings to help boost their fundraising efforts.

Self-taught artist Stephen offered his work to Blackburn’s Poppy Appeal and Alan is selling tickets at the stall for just £1.

Last year Stephen donated his Poppies artwork and this year he has donated the silhouette of a soldier named Lest We Forget.

Stephen said:

“Alan is a good friend of mine and I am happy to support the Poppy Appeal, people can buy raffle tickets on the stall and I hope it does really well.”

For more information on how Remembrance Day and Remembrance Sunday will be celebrated in the borough click here.

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