A TILLICOULTRY man has been named in the Independent's annual Happy List, which recognises inspirational heroes who have made their communities a better place.

Paddie Ging has become a key member of the handyperson scheme run by Volunteering Matters and has been helping vulnerable people in Clacks with odd jobs around their homes.

The 42-year-old was put in touch with the charity by his access worker Gary Jackson, after suffering from depression, and said being a volunteer has done him a world of good.

He told the Advertiser: "The jobs would come into the office, they would forward the jobs to me. I'd go out fixing lightbulbs, putting stuff up and down from the loft, wee simple tasks.

"Even taking the phone calls for these people and arranging the job, it boosted my confidence. I was helping give something back.

"I got on brilliant with some of our customers. Some of them were so lovely and you have a blether with them. That five or ten minutes with them made your day."

Once it became clear that he was gifted at building relationships with people, Paddie got involved in Volunteering Matters' befriending scheme.

As part of the project, he was assigned someone to meet for a few hours each week over a six-month period.

It was a routine that suited him down to the ground and allowed him to make a friend that he might not otherwise have made.

"I have absolutely loved the six months," he said. "We try to get them involved in the community.

"What Gary [Jackson] did with me, I'm now trying to do for other people. When you sit and listen and hear how they grew up, listening to the stories, it was like an education as well.

"But you weren't at school, it was just so fun. I always look forward to it. It's brilliant."

Paddie said he couldn't believe the news that he was included in the Happy List.

And while he admits to being over the moon, he couldn't help but shine the limelight on to other people.

He added: "At the time I was shocked, but a good shocked. I appreciate being picked and I can honestly say I feel honoured.

"I don't do it for personal reward, I do it because I love it. I enjoy doing it and I want to give a bit back. I had my head in the clouds when I found out.

"I feel humbled, if that's the right word, because there are other volunteers out there who do a brilliant job as well."