New Year Honours 2021: Fundraiser, 106, appointed MBE

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image captionAnne Baker said it was a "great surprise and a great honour" to be appointed MBE

A 106-year-old volunteer who raised thousands for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) has been appointed MBE.

Anne Baker, from Salisbury, Wiltshire, joined her local NSPCC more than 60 years ago and for the last 11 years has raised around £1,500 a year with her annual coffee morning.

The oldest person on the list, she is honoured for her charitable services.

Mrs Baker said it was a "great surprise and a great honour" to be appointed.

She was 95 when she started holding an annual garden party to mark her birthday in May.

Each year, Mrs Baker hand-writes invitations to large numbers of friends, relatives, neighbours and other local volunteers to the event.

image copyrightPA Media
image captionAnne Baker, pictured with Esther Rantzen, is the oldest person on the New Year Honours 2021 list

This year, unable to host the party due to the coronavirus lockdown, she set up a JustGiving page to collect donations from her usual guests.

But her appeal attracted donations from as far away as Austria and the United States, and more than £4,000 was raised.

Mrs Baker said she had been "helping the NSPCC for about 50 years" and "loves" the charity.

"I always have the party in my garden which normally makes about £1,000 a year, which is lovely," she said.

"We couldn't hold it this year but we still managed to raise £4,000 so we were pleased and grateful to everyone who contributed to that."

'Inspiration to all'

She said the NSPCC "really look after families".

"I think that is so important, especially nowadays when we are going through such difficult times," she said.

"This last year the NSPCC has worked wonders and I'm really grateful to them."

Caroline Morgan, from the NSPCC, said it was "truly wonderful" and thanked "Anne from the bottom of our hearts for so many decades of loyal support".

"Anne has such spirit and determination that not even a global pandemic would stop her fundraising for her favourite charity," she said.

"Anne is an inspiration to us all, her smile lights up any room and her caring for children everywhere is hugely appreciated."

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