“IT’S an incredibly proud moment when you have done something and made a difference for somebody.”

That's the inspiring words of a Barry man who has been awarded an MBE in the King’s New Year’s Honours list.

Gerald Ronald Joseph Adams has been made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for voluntary services to the community.

Mr Adams described it as “surreal”, but a real honourable position to be put in.

In this time of bad weather, we all need a lift and there’s not much out there as inspiring as Mr Adams’ story.

Mr Adams, 74, started volunteering at just 10-years-old for the St John Ambulance Brigade.

While at the brigade, Mr Adams also joined the Barry Dock Lifeboat RNLI, serving 18 years on the “sharp end” and 18 years as press office, retiring from the lifeboat charity in 2014.

Before he retired from the RNLI, Mr Adams became a Welsh Ambulance Service (NHS) Trust community first responder.

He has received numerous accolades including the St John Bronze Medal for Valour for a free swim rescue in 1971 and the RNLI long service medal for 36 years with the charity.

When asked what makes him want to volunteer, Mr Adams said “it’s in the blood”.

“I love what I do,” said Mr Adams. “Volunteering has made me appreciate the people that need help and I am happy to help them.”

Barry And District News: Mr Adams has been volunteering in Barry in various roles for 65 years!Mr Adams has been volunteering in Barry in various roles for 65 years! (Image: Gerry Adams)

All this selfless volunteering doesn’t come without support.

It was as a nurse at Llandough Hospital that Mr Adams met wife Jill.

Mr Adams praised Jill and their four children for supporting him over 40 years, often at inconvenient times.

On his family, Mr Adams said: “I have to really say, if it were not for the fantastic support of my family I would not have been able to practice such a long time as a volunteer.

“Believe me, being at the end of a bleep or phone alert was not always convenient to them.”

And what next? Surely he’s done his part? But for Mr Adams, no matter how many awards he gets, he’s determined to keep helping people.

On the future, Mr Adams said: “I was appointed the CFR rep for the Vale of Glamorgan a few years ago and I aim to carry on as long as I have the mental and physical ability to do so.

“I really love this 'job'.”