THE treasurer and trustee of Southend Hospital Charity has scooped up a British Empire Medal as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Nigel Gayner, who is also a magistrate, has thrown himself into a number of a different charity projects after his passion for charity work began at the tender age of 15, when he was part of a scouts group.

Southend Standard:

Since then, Nigel has raised thousands of pounds for Southend Hospital, and a host of other worthy causes.

He has also been a part of the Southend Talking Newspaper for the Blind charity for the last 15 years.

Nigel said: “I started getting involved in charity work when I was about 15 as a scout and from there I’ve never stopped.

“I was working towards the Queen scout badge and had to do some volunteering at the hospital and I’ve been there ever since.”

Some of the commendable work Nigel has taken on includes his involvement with the eradication of Polio and last year, he organised a special concert at the Palace Theatre and raised £60,000 by organising, and taking part in, a charity sky dive.

He added: “I loved the sky dive so much, I did it twice. It was a wonderful experience - I enjoy flying anyway, so it was great parachuting.

“I also took part in the abseil down the hospital tower block last year. I like to do things a bit differently.”

He added: “It was a shock initially. I was very surprised, but I’m very grateful and very honoured to get recognition not only for me but the charities for which I work.”

Lucy Thomas-Clayton, associate director of fundraising and voluntary services, said: “He was instrumental in helping to establish a number of successful events, as well as a very successful charity shop and online auction benefitting the hospital.

“Nigel is an honourable gentleman with a caring, compassionate nature who is always ready to put the needs of others above his own.”