Paul shines as diamond champ

Kidderminster Shuttle: Honoured: Paul Gittins, who has been named a Diamond Champion for his first responder work. Buy this photo » Honoured: Paul Gittins, who has been named a Diamond Champion for his first responder work.

A BEWDLEY town councillor who has dedicated his time to helping others has been hon - oured for his voluntary work in Wyre Forest.

Paul Gittins has been named as a Diamond Champion, an accolade which aims to recognise outstanding voluntary work in Great Britain, for his work as a community first responder.

The Labour member has been giving up his time to attend to emergency calls in the district, in which he provides pre-med - ical care for medical emergencies, for the last eight years.

The 66-year-old, who is one of 10 winners from the Midlands, was nominated by his wife Carol after she spotted an application online.

“I’m very pleased to have been named as one of the winners,”

said Mr Gittins. “It was a shock because I didn’t know Carol had put my name forward. I’m very honoured to have been considered.”

The ex-firefighter, who also works for Age UK Wyre Forest, took up the voluntary role after he missed the excitement of fighting fires and of being called out at a “second’s notice to help people”.

He has already attended to more than 400 call-outs this year, ranging from falls to pa - tients in cardiac arrest. “I just do it because I enjoy doing it," Mr Gittins said.

“I don’t expect to be rewarded, it’s just something I enjoy doing. It’s nice to be recognised."

"When I was the mayor of Bewdley in 2000 I introduced the Civic Awards for people who do outstanding work in Bewdley.”

Mr Gittins will receive a specially designed Diamond Champion pin and a certificate signed by the Duchess of Cornwall.

Diamond Champions is run by older people’s charity Royal Vol - untary Service and celebrates the contribution that people over the age of 60 make through volunteering.

Sam Ward, Royal Voluntary Service head of operations for the Midlands, said: “It is with great pleasure that we an - nounce the 10 Diamond Champi - ons from the Midlands.

“They are truly deserving of the honour and it is justified recognition of the selfless work they do in their communities to help others.

“It was incredibly hard to choose 10 Diamond Champions from all the nominations.”

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