A Ramsbottom man has been honoured for his long serving volunteer work as he battles cancer.

David Fox, 75, has been involved in scouting for more than half a century, and although he was diagnosed with bowel cancer at the start of the year, he has not let the disease stop him.

He has continued to be an active member of the fifth Holcombe Scout Group from the Bury and Ramsbottom District, attending even when attached to a chemotherapy pump.

David has now won the Medal of Meritorious Conduct for his service.

Bury Times: David Fox and Leesa Beckwith

His daughter, the assistant district commissioner for the scouts in Bury and Ramsbottom, Leesa Beckwith, said: “He is a star, he was diagnosed in January this year and hasn’t stopped.

“While having chemo and being attached to a chemotherapy pump he still came and just put the pump in a little bag on his side.

“He absolutely loves scouts and I can’t see him ever stopping, he even came on camp with us in September but I made him stay in a hut for that one."

Bury Times: David Fox's award

David has been in the scouts since he was a young boy.

His mum was a cub leader, his dad was a scout leader and his brother became an assistant district commissioner.

David has been the district commissioner for Ramsbottom and is an assistant scout leader for Leesa.

She said: “My dad has received the Medal for Meritorious Conduct in recognition of his ongoing dedication to scout activities through challenging times.

Bury Times: David Fox

“This is because of his bravery and exceptional dedication to the scouts no matter what he may have endured.

“In his case, this includes six weeks of radiotherapy and six weeks of chemo."

After being told he was to publicly receive the honour, David was "very embarrassed", Leesa said.

She added: “He is a true Yorkshire man who doesn’t show his emotions very much, but you could tell he was pleased as punch.

“He is a quiet man doesn’t do much for attention, but not many of these awards are sent out so he should be praised and highlighted.”

Bury Times: David Fox with the Scout group

David has also been invited to Windsor Castle in April next year to watch the king scout parade and attend a special reception.

He has now come off chemotherapy, the tumour has shrunk, and the family are waiting to hear from surgeons on the next steps.

The beavers, cubs and scouts regularly meet with numbers at the fifth Holcombe Scout Group still increasing.

Leesa said sessions are often full and they have had to create waiting lists as the demand to join the club has increase.

She added: “Since Covid the demand has gone crazy.

"We do the usual like collecting badges and all the things parents usually tell you off for like building fires, getting muddy, or, like the other night, karate.

“We have a problem at the moment though because we are struggling for volunteers and leaders to help put these groups on and teach children some valuable life skills.

“It is all voluntary what we do, we give up our time but we really do enjoy it, my scout group is fantastic, they’re just brilliant, and the kids are all so lovely”.