FOR almost 30 years she has been helping some of the most vulnerable people in Hampshire.

So that is why Jean Cane has been nominated for the Daily Echo’s Community Star campaign to highlight the hard workers who make a difference in people’s lives.

Jean, 77, has been manning Age Concern Hampshire’s advice and information line since 1986, helping elderly people through a variety of problems, both financial and personal.

She said: “When I started, the children had gone and I needed something to do, so I thought volunteering was a good option. I wanted to do something useful and something that could help people. I thought Age Concern is an incredibly valuable service so I went to them.”

Jean, of Ropley, near Winchester, has lost count of the number of people she has helped over the years but believes it runs into thousands.

And she has seen plenty of changes during her time, particularly with technology. She added: “I want to continue for as long as I can, although I fear technology might overtake me. Things have changed quite a bit since I started. We used to do a lot more face to face, and now it is mostly over the phone and computerised.”

The great-grandmother was nominated by Glyn Loveday, Age Concern Hampshire information and advice co-ordinator.

He said: “Jean has been volunteering for as long as anyone can remember and is a real expert now on providing information and advice for older people. She’s a lovely lady who everyone enjoys having in the office and has helped hundreds of people over the 28 years she has been with us.”

The Community Star campaign, in association with affordable housing company Aster, will run until Friday, August 22, when Daily Echo editor-in-chief Ian Murray, Aster’s regional director Jean Dalziel and their customer board member John Cockaday will choose the winners.

First place will receive £500 and £250 to a charity of their choice, second place will be given £250 and £100 to charity, then six highly commended nominations will be given £100 and £50 to charity.

A community star can be any member of the public who goes above and beyond to serve their community.