BLIND DAVE, the Black Country's very own living charity legend, is the winner of a new national volunteering award initiated by Prime Minister David Cameron.
Entitled the Points of Light award it is awarded to those who are a shining example in volunteering and raising money for good causes.
Dave Heeley has notched up a remarkable £500,000 for national and international charities including UNICEF, Guide Dogs and Macmillan Cancer Support. Next April he faces his toughest challenge yet, to complete Le Marathon Des Sables in the Sahara Desert in support of The Albion Foundation.
The Prime Minister said of the West Bromwich volunteer's award: "Dave has completed some truly incredible physical feats, sacrificing thousands of hours of his personal time, to raise money for good causes.
"He is an inspirational charity record-breaker and is the only blind person in the world to have completed the '777' challenge - 7 marathons in 7 days over 7 continents. I'm delighted to award Dave the UK's 80th Point of Light."
On hearing the news Dave said: "For me life is about not what you can't do but what you can do!
"If an old codger like me can make people stop and think, 'if he can do that, then what can we do?' then it's all worthwhile. I feel very proud to receive the Point of Light award."
Dave continues to push his physical capabilities to the limit in aid of charitable causes, but it is so easy to forget that Dave is blind, diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa at just 10 years of age.
The scheme has been developed in partnership with the hugely successful Points of Light programme in the USA established by President George W Bush.
More than 5,000 American Points of Light have been recognised and both President George W Bush and President Barack Obama have publicly supported the partnership with Points of Light UK.
Who do you think deserves a Point of Light award? Write to us at The Black Country Bugle, Bugle House, 41 High Street, Cradley Heath, B64 5HL, or email editor@blackcountry bugle.co.uk or log on to www.blackcountrybugle.co.uk