A CAMPAIGNER who has provided 260 powered wheelchairs for sick and disabled children all over the world has retired after 25 years.

Fundraiser Bert Dyson, 80, of Highbank Road, Kingsley, has been appeal secretary at Helsby Golf Club since 1983 and raised hundreds of thousands of pounds to help children across the UK and victims of the Iraq war.

Bert, whose personal crusade to help children was honoured by the Queen by making him an MBE in recognition of his charity work, said: “Twenty-five years seems a long time, but for me the time has flown and after a busy working life the opportunity for me to do this was a blessing. It has kept me occupied and it was a worthwhile job.

“I have been fortunate in that I have always had a very keen committee to work with who give their services for free. I know you are featuring me at the moment, but we are not a one man band, as everyone on our committee is very keen, extremely hard working and very generous.

“I would like to mention that the success we have achieved in raising many thousands of pounds and providing custom-built wheelchairs, some costing in excess of £8,000, to local children is phenomenal.

“We have made Helsby Golf Club by far the most successful fundraisers in the UK who are part of the Powered Wheelchair Crusade.”

Although Bert is retiring from his role as secretary he will continue to sit on the club’s committee.

The club recently presented Bert and his wife Alice with a painting by acclaimed golf artist Graham Baxter, a cake and flowers, at a special celebration of his work.

New appeal secretary Penny Ainsworth said: “Bert has done an unbelievable amount of work. He has been the driving force behind the charity since it started in 1983. He was there at the very beginning and he has worked tirelessly for the last 25 years.”