THROUGHOUT his life he has always tried to “do a nice thing for someone every day”.
With this inspirational motto it is little wonder 85-year-old great grandfather Raymond Reed has been recognised in the Daily Echo’s Good Neighbour Campaign. The Second World War veteran, who stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, is always on hand to help his neighbours with a spot of DIY, a lift to the hairdressers, fetching a paper or a chat.
He said: “I was really surprised when I found I had been put forward for this because I don’t think I do anything out of the ordinary.
“I think you should help other people but I think everybody thinks like that – I’m just glad I can help.
“I try and make sure I help at least one person a day.”
Ray is a well-known resident in Merry Oak Road, Southampton, having lived in the area most of his life.
When the war finished he worked as a builder, then making aircraft parts before turning his skills to vehicles when it became Briggs Auto Bodies and later Ford.
Few know him better than fellow serviceman and pensioners George and June Constable who have known him for more than 50 years and lived next to him for over 25 years and contacted the Daily Echo about Raymond’s many achievements.
George said: “Good neighbours are hard to find and they don’t come any better than this man. He is always calling around to make sure we are OK, driving my wife to the hospital when I was in there and popping in every day with our copy of the Daily Echo.
“But he does this for so many people, all the time – nothing is too much trouble.”
June said: “He is wonderful to us and this campaign is the perfect way to recognise all the things he does.”
Despite his age dad-of-three Raymond finds himself making furniture, assembling cupboards, picking up medicine and running friends to the dentist to help out.
He said after his wife Kathleen died 18 years ago he joined The British Legion in Bitterne, and The Trades and Labour Club in Woolston, and found lots of people who needed his help and he was happy to give it.
The Daily Echo launched the campaign earlier this month when plummeting temperatures and Siberian winds put older people at risk.
The need for good neighbours was never more apparent than after the tragic death of 81-year-old Irene Vyse who died after spending eight days in the bath.
Click for more about our Good Neighbour Campaign.