AS a standard bearer for the Women's Branch of the British Legion, Marie Taylor dedicates her time to supporting servicemen and women in York, and honouring the memory of the city's war dead.

But it is her tenacity as a fundraiser that has won Marie praise, as long term friend Barbara Pettitt has put her forward for The Press's Community Pride Charity Fundraiser of the Year award.

Marie, from Fossway, is a crucial part of the Poppy Appeal in York and spends as much as ten hours a day selling poppies in Tesco supermarket on Tadcaster Road, Barbara said.

She said: "The amount of money she receives from York residents is unbelievable.

"She is a very stalwart lady so devoted to helping others."

Marie, 61, served in the WRENs for 14 years before heading back to her home city of York in 1984 when she first got involved with the Royal British Legion. She said getting involved with the Poppy Appeal was a natural move when she wanted to support her forces colleagues.

Until three years ago Marie was a benefits assessor at City of York Council and would take a week's holiday to spend every day from 9am to 7pm selling poppies. Since her early retirement she has upped that to a full two weeks.

In 2013, she raised £4,000 and over the years she estimates she has raised more than £35,000.

Marie added: "Now I do welfare work for the legion as well so in a way I get to spend some of the money I have raised."

The British Legion's Denise Edgar said Marie is greatly appreciated for her fantastic work.

Charity Fundraiser of the Year is one of 13 categories in the Community Pride awards, which honour the heroes of York whose hard work and selfless dedication make the city a better place for everyone.

The category is sponsored by Lindley and Simpson and recognises an amateur fundraiser who uses their imagination and personal effort to support good causes.

The awards are run by The Press and the City of York Council and sponsored by Benenden Health, and we need to hear about your community heroes - the people who put others before themselves, dedicate time and effort to good causes, and make York a better place to be.

For more information or to make a nomination go to