Legion enlists help of Aiden, 14

Aiden, supporting the Royal British Legion.
Aiden, supporting the Royal British Legion.

The Royal British Legion in and around Sleaford has been enlisting the support of the town’s Miss Junior Teen for its charity work.

The Sleaford and District Branch of the Royal British Legion was joined by Aiden van Rensburgh, 14, of Sleaford, at its stall at a charity fun day organised by the town’s mayor.

Aiden was invited to attend the event by the branch’s Poppy Appeal organiser, Ian Thom, and his wife Maureen. She would go on to join the couple again at their next stall, held in Sleaford’s Market Place.

Branch chairman Clive Candlin said: “Aiden has a very open and approachable personality and settled very quickly into her dealings with the public on the stall.

“She also took the opportunity to learn more about the legion and said she would be delighted to join us again on our next stall in October.”

Aiden is due to vie for the title of Miss Junior Teen Great Britain in Blackpool next month.

The title forms part of the Miss Teen Great Britain contest which, in the words of organisers, was created to be ‘a positive and confidence-building experience for young girls and teenagers’.

Aiden, who has aspirations to become a model, secured her place in the final – from thousands of entries – after impressing in her initial online application and then an interview-based semi-final.

Finalists take on the title of their home, making Aiden Miss Junior Teen Sleaford.

In the run-up to the final, contestants are encouraged to make public appearances in a sash and Aiden thought a positive way of doing this would be to assist charities.

To this end, she has supported SSAFA the armed forces charity, Combat Stress, Blue Cross for Pets, Scotty’s Little Soldiers, UCL Dementia Research, Make A Wish UK, and – the pageant’s chosen charity – Together For Short Lives, for which she has raised more than £300.

Speaking about the legion’s Poppy Appeal, she said: “I think the work it does is really important, to remind people of the fallen and to assist the Armed Forces community with important lifelong support.”

l You can support Aiden’s fundraising for Together For Short Lives at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Aiden-Van-Rensburg and also in her Miss Junior Teen campaign at www.gofundme.com/2acjcxgs.

n The Sleaford and District Branch of the Royal British Legion hold its 10th Annual Poppy Prom, performed by The Sleaford Concert Band, in the Hall of St George’s Academy, Sleaford, on Saturday, October 22, at 7.30pm.