FRIENDS have paid tribute to a man who has left hundreds of thousands of pounds to the Wales Air Ambulance Charity.

Desmond Edward Jenkins, a former RAF serviceman and electronics businessman born in Treharris, passed away in Penarth in September 2018, aged 90.

In his will, he gifted £411,110 to the helicopter charity.

Julie Richards and Nigel Arrighi are executors of the estate and fondly remember their friend.

Ms Richards said: “I met Desmond around eight years ago as a carer. We soon struck a chord and he very much became a part of the family. We made many treasured memories together and I miss him dearly.”

Mr Arrighi and Mr Jenkins first became friends more than two decades ago. Mr Arrighi said: “I remember meeting Desmond to give him assistance with a computer. I offered to lend a hand and our friendship blossomed from there.”

The son of a postman and piano teacher, Mr Jenkins served in the RAF as a wireless operator during the Second World War before moving to London to work in electronics.

Mrrrighi said: “Not only did he have an interest in radio and electronics but was also very religious. He provided pastoral support during the war and, when he moved to London, became a pastor and helped the homeless.”

After owning his own electronics business, Mr Jenkins returned to Penarth o retire.

Ms Richards said: “Des’ heart was always in south Wales and I think that’s why he returned to Penarth following his retirement.” Mr Arrighi added: “Des sadly passed away in September 2018 leaving a large amount of his estate to charity.

“He stated clearly in his will that he wanted to donate some of his money to Wales Air Ambulance, not only to help people but also because he had a keen interest in helicopters and aviation. Des was struck by the work of the air ambulance and became inspired that something could be done to help those in real need.”

James Stephens, from the Wales Air Ambulance, said: “We are completely bowled over by this incredibly generous donation. It is a shame that we never met Desmond, but it is clear to see from his generosity just the type of character he was. It is heartening to see such support from people who wish to make a real difference.”

Ms Richards added: “If we could sum up Desmond in just a few words it would be that he always wanted to help and would wish to be remembered as one of the good people of this world.”

Each year Wales Air Ambulance needs to raise £6.5 million to keep flying.

With a mission costing on average £1,500, the charity relies solely on the kindness of the people of Wales to provide a lifesaving service.

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