THE family and friends of a charity champion who has died aged 94 have described him as determined, kind, inspirational, and an "indefatigable fundraiser".

Bruce Grant, of Ponteland, raised more than £100,000 for a variety of North East charities including the Great North Air Ambulance Service, Children North East, Newcastle People's Kitchen and West End Refugee Service.

In 2019, Bruce was awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen's Birthday Honours for his fundraising efforts, which included him sitting in Hexham's Fore Street on a weekly basis, no matter what the weather, to collect money for the Great North Air Ambulance.

At the time, he said: “It is a modest award as becomes my lowly position, but it gives me a great deal of satisfaction, and pleasure.

“I am well aware that some people spend a lifetime in charity, and of course, a great many with far greater achievements.

“Above all, I am only too aware that the modest success was totally dependent on kind-hearted supporters who repeatedly donated, and that includes some well-known companies and nationally known leaders.”

Bruce also received a Meritorious Award from Ponteland Town Council in 2017.

Bruce took up charity work initially within Ponteland United Reformed Church by arranging concerts to raise funds for selected charities.

Then in 2013, Bruce founded Pont Charity Group with the support of Jim Robertson and Andy Anderson.

He produced a book which tells his story of his eventful life on land, air and sea called 'Flying By the Seat of My Pants', which sold out.

The proceeds from the sale of the book went to Tynedale Hospice at Home and the North-East branch of the Royal Society for Blind Children.

Bruce, born in Glenlivet in the Scottish Highlands on Boxing Day 1926, was married to wife Wilma for nearly 60 years and they had two children - Linda and Ewan. They moved to Ponteland in 1968.

Bruce also had five grandchildren - Steven, Matthew, Deborah, Alan and Ryan - and one great-grandson, Alfie Bruce.

Bruce, of Old Station Court, Darras Hall, spent his last five months living at Ponteland Manor Care home.

He passed away peacefully in his sleep there in the early hours of June 13.

Bruce's funeral service was held at West Road Crematorium in Newcastle on June 25.