My father, Brian Hunt, who has died aged 88, believed in helping people who did not have support networks to manage day-to-day life. He was a senior social worker based in Bristol, supported a broad range of charities, including Water Aid and Arthritis Research, and volunteered for the armed services charity SSAFA during his retirement.
Born in Sale, Cheshire, to Jessie (nee Allan) and John Hunt, Brian had one older brother, Malcolm. John was the manager of an insurance company in Manchester. Family life changed when he died at 60 and Brian, then aged 10, went as a boarder to Cheadle Hulme grammar school. Brian hated being away from home but loved the school, enjoying sports including rugby, cricket, hockey and lacrosse, in the last of which he represented his school.
At 18, Brian joined the army. During the second world war he served in Italy and became an adept featherweight boxer. After demobilisation, he went to Manchester, Oxford and Bristol universities, gaining an honours degree in economics, a diploma in education and a certificate in social work. A variety of jobs followed including work in insurance, as a statistician for a chemical company, as a teacher in a residential approved school and as a maths teacher in the new 1960s comprehensive in Clevedon, Somerset, before he found his true niche in social work in Bristol.
Brian met Ruth Pescud, a teacher, at a dance in 1955 and they married the following year. They travelled the country before deciding to settle in Portishead, near Bristol, where they raised two children.
Brian described retirement, still in Portishead, as “the happiest period of my life”. He and Ruth toured the UK and Europe, set up and ran a walking group for 25 years, joined a choir and a music appreciation group, and continued daily work on their treasured garden.
He is survived by Ruth, my brother, Jonathan, and me, and four grandchildren.