A DROITWICH-based volunteer has celebrated a landmark birthday with the charity he’s been volunteering with for the past two decades.

Oliver Goldfinch is marking two milestones this year. Not only has been volunteering with Worcestershire wildlife Trust for 20 years, but last week he also marked his 80th birthday, and the charity stepped up to help him celebrate with a surprise or two.

Cheryl Stewart, finance and admin manager for the Trust, said “Oliver has been a vital member of our reception team for 20 years and has also been involved with raising funds from craft fairs and by preparing our bird food for sale. He’s even put in a fine performance as Father Christmas for children attending the Trust’s education activities.

“His work has been so valuable to us that we really wanted to do something special for his birthday.”

Mr Goldfinch worked as an English teacher before retiring in 1993, and the trust tracked down one of his former pupils, Peter Howard, who has made a career as a poet, to write him a special birthday message.

Mr Howard added: “Oliver prided himself on being impossible to trick, and told us to stop reading James Bond novels because there was so much better stuff available. He demonstrated the modernity of Chaucer’s stories by pointing out all the rude bits!

“I was delighted when Cheryl contacted me and asked me to write a poem for Oliver’s 80th birthday card – it’s just a shame I can’t be there on the day.”