Beloved volunteer Bruce sadly loses his battle with cancer

Bruce Evans who dedicated more than a decade of his life to volunteering for the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) has sadly lost his battle with cancer.

Bruce, 63, from Windermere, began volunteering for GNAAS after taking part in the Chill Swim in Windermere to raise money for the charity.

Over the years, he had delivered several talks to schools and community groups in Cumbria, helped out at bucket collections and summer events, as well as emptying hundreds of the charity’s collection tins on a weekly basis.

Before Bruce was a volunteer, he spent his years as a service man in the Royal Navy working on bomb disposals. After taking early retirement he decided it was time to do something more fulfilling with his time and that’s when he started his volunteering journey with GNAAS.

Sadly in January 2017, following a routine blood test, Bruce found out the heartbreaking news that he had terminal cancer.

Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with several terminal cancers, including one in his bones which meant he had mobility problems and would often walk using crutches.

Despite this setback, Bruce was determined to continue volunteering with GNAAS as it gave him a reason to get out and meet people, which was his favourite part of the role.

He continued to divide his time between Ulverston, Grasmere, Windermere, Ambleside and Kendal and built lasting relationships with a whole host of different people.

In recognition of his hard work and dedication to the charity, in August 2020 he was invited to fly in GNAAS’ newest aircraft, The Guardian of the North II, when it was being relocated from Leeds Bradford Airport to the charity’s HQ near Eaglescliffe.

He was met with a round of applause from charity staff as the helicopter landed and described the experience as “superb”.

After a long and hard battle with cancer, Bruce sadly passed away earlier this month and will be greatly missed.

David Stockton, chief executive officer at GNAAS, said: “We were saddened to hear of the passing of our beloved volunteer Bruce. He was a character and will be fondly remembered for his sense of humour and many comical hats.

“He was also very selfless and his dedication to supporting GNAAS was beyond admirable.

“Bruce will be a huge miss and our thoughts and heartfelt condolences go to his family and friends.”

A funeral service will be held on Thursday 25 May at 2pm at Beetham Hall Crematorium.

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