AFTER a stroke, heart surgery, cancer and losing a loved one few would be thinking about the wellbeing of others.

However, these “hiccups” were not enough to stop 82-year-old World War II veteran Stan Stovell dedicating himself to helping his fellow man.

Eight years of volunteering and thousands of hours spent putting up shelves, doing shopping runs, making cups of tea is why the Shirley great grandfather is the first to be recognised in the Daily Echo Good Neighbour Campaign.

He said: “I am fortunate that I am fit and healthy and have a very close family who give me all the support and help I could want and I wanted to share that about with people less fortunate.

“I was brought up to help others if I could and over the years I have met some fascinating characters, I think everyone you meet can add something to your life. Some of the people I have helped are now friends so I just go round as a buddy.

“It is so rewarding I would urge anyone who can spare a few hours to get involved and I definitely support the new campaign.”

While the dad-of-three has only been volunteering for a short time he has a long history of helping people.

During the war Stan served in Burma as a medical officer for fours years before returning and doing a number of jobs from locksmith to docks worker.

He later found his vocation as a hospital officer in the prison service where he worked for 25 years.

However, when Rosaline, his wife of more than 50 years, died in 1999 Stan started volunteering for Southampton Society for the Blind and later disability charity Communicare Shirley and District.

On average Stan puts aside around 50 hours a month to help elderly or disabled people.

Eveline Adams, charity joint manager, said: “Stan really goes that extra mile sometimes seeing two or three people a day, he is wonderful. Often he will pop into the office afterwards and see if anyone else needs anything.

“Without Stan and others like him a lot more people would be lonely and isolated but he makes them feel valued and cared for.”

One of those he visits is fellow great grandfather and war veteran Ron Collingwood who is wheelchair bound after losing a leg through an infection.

The 84-year-old said: “Stan makes one hell of a difference to my life, he comes round all the time and we have a cup of tea and put the world to rights. Without him I couldn’t get to the dentist or the doctor, he has helped me go for walks and get used to my prosthetic leg.

“His visits are one of the highlights of my week and I think the world would be a better place if more people were like Stan.”

Daily Echo: Daily Echo Good Neighbour Campaign