Communities are coming together across south Essex to celebrate, and police officers are helping some residents get involved.

Basildon PCSOs Daniel Brady and Kyli Nice gave 95-year-old Eileen a lift to the beacon lighting event in Laindon last night.

She was born in 1926, the same year as the Queen.

Eileen was befriended by Daniel and Kyli more than two years ago at the start of the first pandemic-enforced lockdown, while they were out on patrol in Basildon town centre.

Read more >>> LIVE: Updates as Jubilee celebrations continue in south Essex

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.

Eileen said: “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.” 

“I miss my Fred dearly but I’m honoured that Daniel and Kyli are my friends.”