A family is raising funds for a veterans’ charity in memory of their ‘doting’ dad.

Charlie Gillis, 62, from Weymouth, sadly passed away on February 10 – and now his family are hoping to raise money for a charity close to his heart.

Ex-serviceman Charlie became involved with SSAFA several years ago, a charity which aims to relieve need and distress amongst the armed forces and veterans, when it helped him get a mobility scooter.

Daughter Sharon Harvey said her dad was a ‘naturally kind and generous man’ who wanted to give back to a charity that had helped him in his times of need.

“Before he had the scooter he was housebound so when he got it, that was it he was off. They gave him his legs back and he was so truly grateful he wanted to help people himself,” she said.

He initially joined SSAFA as a visitor but then became a caseworker – a role he became very fond of.

Sharon said: “He was the most amazing person. He was totally committed to helping his clients and would go out of his way to ensure they got the best available service.

“He had a natural way of sympathising with people and his sense of humour and inspiring love of life made him one of a kind, he would always put others first and offer help regardless of the job at hand,” she said.

Sally Cadec, chairman of Dorset SSAFA, said because of his own experience, Charlie was able to empathise and quickly make bonds with clients.

She added, even in ill health, Charlie could be relied upon to turn out to every fundraising event SSAFA organised and went above and beyond to raise the profile of the charity.

“He was a living embodiment of what we do,” she said. “I think he would be quietly pleased that although he’s not here his efforts still live on. It is so generous of his family to continue to think of others at such a difficult time.”

Charlie went on to found the Weymouth-based ‘Dorset Veterans Club’ which brings current and former serviceman together and hosts a Saturday morning breakfast club.

“He was so passionate about giving back to others who fought for their country and don’t have people they can reminisce with or socialise with,” Sharon said.

Sharon said the response from the local community after Charlie’s passing had been ‘overwhelming’.

“Losing my dad has been so hard but I never realised just how many people he helped. It’s amazing how many people absolutely admired him - It’s so comforting,” Sharon said.

Charlie leaves behind him two daughters, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

His family have set up a Justgiving page for any one who would like to donate to SSAFA in his memory - something Sharon said her dad would be ‘massively proud’ of.

To donate to SSAFA in memory of Charlie visit justgiving.com/fundraising/charlie-gillis