A devoted family man who has saved lives through organ donation following his death has been posthumously honoured.

Paul Stockley, from Stevenage, has been granted the Order of St John Award for Organ Donation, run in conjunction with NHS Blood and Transplant.

The award was given to his wife Kate at a moving ceremony in Hoddesdon to honour Hertfordshire people who have donated their organs after death.

Kate said: “Paul was a kind, generous man who was happy to help anyone. His wish to donate reflected his attitude and beliefs.

“Out of the darkest, saddest time of my life this was the one positive thing that gave me relief.

“It was wonderful to have Paul’s donation recognised and celebrated in this way. The ceremony was appropriate and gave me and Paul’s close family a great sense of pride in him.”

Anthony Clarkson, interim director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “The pride families feel is inspirational, and transplant patients tell us organ donors and their families are heroes. This award is a chance for us all to recognise their bravery and generosity, and their amazing contribution to society.”

During 2017/18, deceased donors in the UK went up from 1,413 to 1,574 - a rise of 11 per cent and the most ever in the UK.

There are now more than 25 million people on the NHS Organ Donor Register, but there are still about 6,100 people on the UK transplant waiting list and about three people die each day in need of an organ.

Anthony said: “More and more people are supporting organ donation, but there is still an urgent shortage of donors.

“We hope these awards will inspire other people to tell their families they want to save lives. Telling your family what you want makes things easier at a difficult time.”

Kate said: “Paul’s donation gave me great comfort at a time of shock and sadness.

“I was not aware how many organs could be used, not just for one recipient but potentially for improving several people’s lives.

“The support I received from the organ donation nurses was faultless and respectful.

“I now carry a donor card and encourage people to think about organ donation and talk about it with their loved ones.”

To join the NHS Organ Donor Register, visit organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300 123 23 23.