A FORMER refuse collector from Kidderminster donated his entire retirement present to a charity that aims to build hospital helipads across the country.

Richard “Scooby” Walker, who worked for Wyre Forest District Council for 45 years before retiring last September, handed over his £900 lifetime service award to the Help Appeal.

Mr Walker, aged 65, felt compelled to donate his entire retirement gift, after learning how building a helipad right next to a hospital’s A&E department could save lives, by allowing a much quicker patient transfer.

He said: “I wanted to do something that would help others and decided to donate the money I got when I retired to a worthy cause.

“I spoke to a few of my friends who have raised money for Midlands Air Ambulance and I thought that would be a good charity to give the money to.

“I let them decide which part of the charity the money went towards and they told me about the Help Appeal. Not every hospital has a helipad so I’m delighted it is going towards building a new one.”

Robert Bertram, Chief Executive of the Help Appeal, said: “Mr. Walker is a star. We are hugely grateful for his very generous donation, which will help to save countless lives in the future.

“Shaving vital minutes off a critically ill patient’s journey, by building a helipad right next to A&E, could mean the difference between life and death.

“Helipads are expensive and as we not funded by the government or National Lottery, Mr Walker’s donation will go some way to building the next hospital helipad and helping patients get treatment within the Golden Hour.”