He is the man who has given cancer sufferers in Hampshire a sense of belonging and lifted their confidence.

That is why Bill Slavin from Gosport is our latest nominee in our Daily Echo Community Star campaign.

Having just celebrated his 75th birthday surrounded by the people he cares for at the Harbour Cancer Support Centre in Gosport staff decided he would be perfect for the award.

Bill is part of a daily volunteering team which provides practical and emotional support for cancer patients and their friends, relatives and carers.

And as a self-taught watercolour artist he decided to set up weekly art classes to add to the variety of services the centre has available, which include counselling, coffee mornings and complimentary therapies.

Bill is known as a kind and patient teacher whose tuition provides a much- needed artistic outlet for the centre’s clients.

His students say he has given them their confidence back and helped them to realise their ability to achieve and staff feel Bill has provided a creative lifeline for their clients.

Fellow volunteer Rachel Smith nominated Bill for the award. She said: “We would be lost without Bill, he is such a big part of the centre and makes such a difference. He is a real gem and always gives each individual the care, support and encouragement they need when they are going through a very difficult time in their lives.”