TRIBUTES have been paid to a charity founder and stalwart of the community who has died after contracting the coronavirus.

Peter Ives, from Gorse Covert, passed away in the early hours of Saturday, April 4, at the age of 80.

A 'pillar of the community', the great-granddad had been admitted to Warrington Hospital the Tuesday previously and was in intensive care after testing positive for Covid-19.

Daughter Kim Hunt told the Warrington Guardian: "He was so selfless and so kind, and very stubborn as well but a true professional at all times.

"He was very much a pillar of the community."

Warrington Guardian:

Peter with children Dawn, Jason and Kim during his 80th birthday celebrations in January

Originally born in Derby, Peter's working life took him and his family around the world – including spells living in Singapore and Chicago – before settling in Warrington as the managing director of Winwick Quay-based Optibelt.

He co-founded charity Leukaemia Care UK in the 1960s after losing two daughters to the disease, and was a valued member of the Birchwood Lions for many years.

A spokesman for Birchwood Lions said: "Peter Ives was an unsung hero, a community champion who devoted much of his life to the service of others.

"If there was a need, Peter would be first in line to help out.

Warrington Guardian:

"His service to Lions Clubs International was outstanding – he served at a local and national level, and his influence covered many international causes.

"He achieved the highest honour that a Lion could be awarded when he was made a Melvin Jones Fellow, and his other accomplishments included setting up events to combat prostate cancer, diabetes, blindness and disability.

"A lovely man who was loved by many and who will be greatly missed."

Peter was the lead organiser for the annual Remembrance Day service in Birchwood and a patron for a number of charities, including Warrington Disability Partnership.

Warrington Guardian:

Peter at last year's Remembrance Day service

He regularly volunteered at WDP's Disability Awareness Day, and this year's event will be dedicated to his memory.

The charity's chief executive and co-founder Dave Thompson said: "He was a great guy who was very, very committed to the Lions.

"Everywhere he went, he would be honoured to tell people that he was a patron of our charity and we were honoured to have him.

"He would do absolutely anything for us and he's going to be sorely missed – he was a genuinely hard-working, honest and reliable guy and a true friend."