A MAN who is described as the centre of his community has won a Pride of Gwent Award.

Raglan resident Donald Spencer has been awarded the Pride of Gwent Community Hero Award, which is sponsored by Western Power Distribution.

He said: "I am very pleased about it, it’s quite a surprised that I won."

The 90-year-old is originally from Llanover, Mr Spencer was a dairy farmer for most of his life as he started farming with his family when he was 16 years old.

Mr Spencer joined the Young Farmers Club in Abergavenny in 1943 and it became a big part of his life.

He said: “I did a lot through the young farmers club. I was involved in dairy stock judging and was competing.

“I did an exchange visit to the USA and spent three and half months in Kentucky. I was chairman of Monmouthshire young farmers in 1952 and then I moved to the National Farmers Union and became chairman in 1963.”

He moved to a farm in Chepstow in 1970 and he retired in 2001. He farmed the shorthorn breed of cattle and was president of the Beef Shorthorn Cattle Society between 1988 and 1991.

Much of his working life he offered advice and shared his knowledge with the farmers of the future.

The father of three was involved in the county council and elected onto Monmouth Borough Council in 1987 and represented the ward of St Arvans near Chepstow until 2004.

“I have never lived outside Monmouthshire, the friendliness of the community and the support you get with the community is wonderful and the work was very rewarding.”

As well as his work he was also a governor at Monmouth Boys School, which he attended from 1938 to 1943, and Chepstow Comprehensive School.

As well as farming, religion has been a big part of Mr Spencer’s life and most of his free time is spent doing work for he has been treasurer of Church of St Cadoc in Raglan since 2006.

“It’s my main interest since giving up the farm and taking life at its leisure. I enjoy the work and I was always interested in figures. I get the satisfaction of helping out and I take my church friends as a second family.

“I would always encourage people to get involved in the community and I took it on myself to represent the community in whatever way I could.”

Mr Spencer is one of the winners who will be celebrated at an awards ceremony which will be held on the afternoon on May 25 in the Coldra Court Hotel where the overall Pride of Gwent winner for 2018 will be announced.

To find out more about the awards visit southwalesargus.co.uk/prideofgwent