Updated: Saturday, 1st November 2014 @ 7:51am

Moss Side-born retired soldier to receive MBE for Ghana charity work

Moss Side-born retired soldier to receive MBE for Ghana charity work

By Kate Banks

A retired soldier, originally from Moss Side, will receive an MBE for his charity work in Ghana next week.

David Stuttard, 65, will be presented with the honour by the Queen or Prince Charles at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace on 12 October.

He said: “It’s absolutely fantastic. I don’t think I deserve it because there’s people who do a lot more than me, but I’m very happy.”

David, who now lives in Staffordshire, is being recognised due to the work of his charity, MyUbique, so named because ‘ubique’, which means ‘everything’, is the motto of his former regiment in the Royal Engineers.

The charity provides clean water for townships in Northern Ghana, utilising the special skills David acquired whilst in the Army.

Amazingly, David lost his sight to diabetes in 2003, which he admits finding very difficult initially as he had to become so reliant on other people.

He said: “I began looking to do something voluntary to keep me busy, so I asked myself, how could I use my Engineer Military skills to benefit others? 

“Thinking of all the trades I’d learnt whilst in the TA, which one could I use that lots of people, especially in a Third World environment would benefit, that was easy- clean drinking water.”

Clean water is so important due to the prevalence of guinea worm in the region, a water-born parasite for which there is no vaccine or treatment.

The parasite is ingested through drinking unsanitary water and grows inside the human host for approximately a year.

After this period, a blister forms and the mature worm, by which time is one metre long, tries to emerge, according to the World Health Organisation.

This process causes extreme pain and can lead to loss of limbs. Now it is becoming less common in the region thanks to some of the work done by David and his team.

David said that setting up MyUbique was originally of some personal benefit, as it gave him back his independence and inspired him to channel himself into something positive.  

 “I would never have done anything like this in a million years if I hadn’t lost my sight,” he said.

However, it became much more than that and now more than 50,000 people have access to clean water since the organisation was established in 2005, a number which David is determined to increase.

He said: “All the family and friends who have supported me over the years will be there, which is nice because this achievement is as much mine as it is theirs really.”

You can find more information about David and his charity at http://myubique.info/ 

David also gives public talks, which he describes as ‘a bit of a laugh’.

Talks can be arranged via email on david.stuttard@ntlworld.com