CONNECTING: Aub Hewston has been delivering for Meals on Wheels for almost 20 years and enjoys a laugh and a chat along the way.AUB Hewston is a quiet achiever who shies away from the limelight and gets about his work with unwavering enthusiasm.

The 86-year-old from Gateshead has been working with Charlestown Meals on Wheels for the best part of the last two decades and doesn’t look like stopping any time soon.

Mr Hewston may be the driver who delivers meals, but his role is much more than that.

He regularly chats and jokes with those he delivers meals to.

‘‘I work there probably about once or twice a week,’’ he said.

‘‘To me it’s satisfying, if you’re in a position to help people it’s worth it.

‘‘Meeting new people and making friends is all part of it.’’

Mr Hewston speaks fondly of his workmates, describing them as ‘‘characters’’ who are ‘‘a great bunch of people’’.

It is clear he loves what he does and won’t be stopping any time soon.

He has worked as a volunteer ever since his retirement from Caltex and has also helped out at the Mater Hospital.

He volunteered at the hospital as a driver, picking up patients from their homes and taking them to see a doctor.

He was a reassuring voice for many patients before and after their appointments.

He no longer works at the Mater but he still makes an effort to visit various hospitals and have a chat with patients.

‘‘Some of them I know, some of them I don’t,’’ Mr Hewston said.

‘‘I’ll go along if I hear someone [I know] has gone into hospital and if I see someone in a ward by themselves I’ll go have a chat to them.’’

Whether he shares a joke or just says ‘‘g’day’’ and pops his head around the corner, the gesture is much appreciated by the patients he visits.

Co-ordinator of Charlestown Meals on Wheels, Leanne Rodwell, said Mr Hewston was much-loved around the workplace.

‘‘He’s an extremely reliable man and one of the nicest gentlemen I’ve ever met,’’ she said.

‘‘He puts people before himself all the time and is very quiet about it, too.’’

Charlestown Meals on Wheels has about 170 volunteers who prepare, cook and deliver more than 10,000 meals every four months to more than 250 people.

Charlestown MP Andrew Cornwall spent a day working with Mr Hewston earlier in the month and was full of praise for the many workers at Meals on Wheels.

‘‘I saw that Meals and Wheels is more than serving food,’’ he said.

‘‘It is lending an ear and a joke between old friends, which is an invaluable part of people’s weekly routines.’’

Mr Hewston loves what he is doing and said that he had no need for any hobbies.

‘‘No, not really, I’ve made what I’m doing my hobby,’’ he said.

‘‘As long as I can get in that car I’ll keep on going.”