SELFLESS volunteer Eric Compton is passionate about giving up his time for those who are less fortunate.
He’s chairman of Breathe Easy, a support group which gets people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) back on their feet.
He organises meetings at Buckland Community Centre, in Buckland, Portsmouth, once a month and gets speakers to come in and chat about the condition.
Eric, 65, is also a member of the local COPD network group.
As part of the role he drives around talking to people in Gosport, Fareham, Waterlooville and Petersfield about how they can improve their lives.
He encourages them to do exercises which improve breathing and keep a stock of medication.
Eric, who was diagnosed with COPD in 2007, gives up 80 hours of his time each month – but he doesn’t see it as a chore.
Eric, who lives in Medina Road, Wymering, said: ‘It’s a passion, that’s what it is.
‘At the end of the day, I have got what I have got and I want to make sure people know what they are entitled to, whether that means telling them about benefits or that they should have antibiotics.’
Eric is backing Volunteers’ Week, a campaign running until Friday which celebrates all the wonderful work volunteers do.
The five other members of Breathe Easy’s committee are also volunteers.
‘It’s so important and vital that we have people who can make sufferers of COPD aware of things that are happening,’ Eric said.
‘When I visit people they really appreciate listening to someone who knows what they are going through.
‘It’s really nice to think that people appreciate the work we do,’ he said.
As previously reported, Jacky Charman, who works for Community Action in Portsmouth, said the work of volunteers is worth £40bn in the UK.
As part of the campaign, The News is featuring stories about volunteers and the work they do in their communities each day until Friday.
Tomorrow, Mary Waldron will talk about the help she and her team at Victim Support, in Winston Churchill Avenue, Portsmouth, give witnesses and defendants before they attend trials at court.