A man whose “entire outlook on life changed” following a cancer scare has been awarded an impressive accolade for his efforts helping others. 

Steven Russell, 66, of King’s Lynn, was announced as this year’s Overall Star of the Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards

A former RAF serviceman, Mr Russell said: “I was rather gob smacked and I’m quite amazed really. 

“I just do what I do, and I like to tell people all about what it is that I do, but I only do it to help others. 

Eastern Daily Press: Steven Russell being greeted on his arrival in India

“To have people recognise and put me forward for my work though is good, and I’m really grateful for that.” 

Mr Russell’s efforts first began following a career in the Royal Air Force (RAF). Originally from Bournemouth, he was posted to RAF Marham in 1979. 

During his time there, he had a cancer scare which changed his entire outlook on life. He quickly realised that he wanted to “mend lives, not machines”. 

Eastern Daily Press: Steven Russell was in India at the time of receiving his Stars award

He left the RAF in 1988 to enter into a career in care and social work, spending 30 years working for Norfolk County Council and becoming a chair of trustees for the charity The Bridge for Heroes.  

He has also travelled to India for many years assisting the Bethesda's Trust by taking abandoned and at-risk children to safe and vital homes and orphanages that he has helped to build.    

As a result of his work, he was awarded the Lifetime Commitment to the Community award at the event which took place at the Assembly House on November 30. This category was sponsored by Norwich Theatre

He was also named the Overall Star, an award chosen by the judges from one of the category winners.  

The judges were thoroughly impressed by Mr Russell’s undeniable commitment to helping others and working towards causes and seeing them through. 

At the time of the awards, Mr Russell was in India. 

Eastern Daily Press: Steven Russell was in India at the time of receiving his Stars award