WHEN Robert Billings took early retirement following illness 10 years ago, he decided that he needed to find something more rewarding to do than 'sitting on his backside'.
He looked into the work of Age Concern Harrow, who were in need of volunteers, and put himself forward to work at their lunch club.
The club meets every day at the Red Brick Cafe in Wealdstone and gives older people in Harrow the opportunity to get out and socialise.
Mr Billings, of Brockhurst Close, Stanmore, said he has loved every minute of his 10 years of work there.
He said: "When I retired, like most people, I thought how great it would be to have some extra time on my hands, but honestly I just found myself getting increasingly bored.
"I wanted to give something back to the community I live in and thought that the lunch club was a great way to get older people out and about. It was also a way of getting me out of the house."
The 64-year-old, who helps out at least four days a week, continued: "I was really shocked to be put forward for this award; it is lovely to know that volunteers are being recognised and I was thrilled.
"But it does seem quite strange to me because all I am doing is something I enjoy - having a bit of a gossip and a chat with people who are incredibly interesting."
He added: "There are so many worthy causes out there and you come to realise that without volunteers, these great programmes can't continue."
Harrow Heroes Awards is run by Harrow Council, the Observer, Harrow Association of Voluntary Services (HAVS), The Rotary Club and Premier House Banqueting.
Nominations are open until Monday, September 6, and nominators can fill out the short form online at email@example.com.