A CHARITY worker from the Ribble Valley has received an invitation to travel to Downing Street for a reception to mark the centenary of the First World War.

Harriet Roberts, who works with Child Action Northwest, has been invited by the Prime Minister to London after organising a commemorative event to mark the lives of children from Blackburn Orphanage who lost their lives in the war.

For the past three years, Harriet, 45, who is from Clitheroe, has been using the history of the founder, James Dixon, and the archives to raise the profile of the 120-year-old charity.

Last year, she successfully applied for Heritage Lottery funding for a research project working with Salesbury School as part of the commemorations across the UK.

The project, which is looking into the lives of 10 men from the orphanage, unearthed information about a previously unknown 11th solider.

Harry Watson went to war in 1914, enlisting in the Lancashire Fusiliers and was sent out to Macedonia in the 22nd Division. He was killed in action and is buried in a war cemetery in Greece.

The Child Action Northwest project culminates on July 13 with a remembrance service at St Peter’s Church, Salesbury, and a tree planting for each of the soldiers who died.

The mum-of-one, who will travel to London on on Tuesday said: “I am constantly inspired by the amazing work of James Dixon whose legacy lives on.

“I feel very proud to be representing him as he was the father figure of all the old boys who fought in the Great War.

“Before I started I didn’t have much interest in the First World War but now I think it’s amazing what we have found.

“When I applied for the Heritage Lottery funding I only asked for 10 trees but now we are going to have to find money for an 11th.

“It’s a fantastic twist in the tale that we never expected. The project has been going really well and I’m looking forward to going to London.”