A FUND-RAISER who has dedicated her life to helping homeless children in a central American country ravaged by civil war has been named among the Catholic Women of the Year.

Bron Soan, of Charlton, near Evesham, founded Aid to the Children of El Salvador (ACES) after a visit to the country 26 years ago when she was touched by the suffering of children.

Mrs Soan, aged 77, has made countless trips to the country, taught herself Spanish and established a home where 100 children found refuge.

Since founding the charity she has tirelessly worked to make their lives better, even selling her own property in Wales and beginning other projects including a refuge for girls where they can live while going to school, which she visited over the years.

“I was very suprised but delighted to receive this award,”

she said.

“I have been working with the people of El Salvador for 26 years. I went after reading a book about the country. I stayed there for three months a year.

“About 15 years ago I used some inheritance money and bought a centre for 70-plus kids to keep them off the streets and a refuge for 12 girls.

“My last trip out there with Max [Dawe], who was a great guy, was in December. That will probably be my last visit. The problem is it’s so expensive to live out there, it costs the same as here.”

Mrs Soan, who also volunteers at Oxfam, is still the main fundraiser for ACES, although she says she hopes it will carry on for many years to come.

To support ACES visit childrenofelsalvador.info or call 01386 861184.