A volunteer who helps people with disabilities through music has won a community hero award.

Ian Rock, 63, from Watford, is a volunteer sound engineer for music charity Electric Umbrella which uses music to help people with learning disabilities.

Mr Rock began volunteering for the charity more than two years ago and spends his time dealing with the acoustics in venues where Electric Umbrella members will perform.

He first heard about the charity from a friend and later saw the work the charity does for disabled adults in Watford.

He said he has never looked back since: “I help out every week and I love every minute of it. I think what the charity is absolutely magic.

“I think the inclusivity of the charity and making the members feel like they are in a band is amazing.

“Music is a collaborative experience not something that is competitive.

"In the charity, you can make no distinction between members and musicians who come along to help.

“Musicians and members always have a fabulous time and they bounce off of each other well.”

The adults work with professional musicians to write their own music and perform at small pubs, big festivals and on live radio.

He added: “The service does certainly help people with disabilities.

"When they leave full-time education there is not that much for them to do.

“But Electric Umbrella allows them to fill in the hours during their week and gives them a purpose.

"I love being with them and they love it here – it is a mutual thing.

“We got out and perform in the front of the public and people understand our charity and how fun our members can be.

“Our users certainly inspire all the professional musicians. It is heart warming and when you see the smiles it brings happiness everywhere.”

Electric Umbrella CEO Mel Boda said: "We see Ian as a pure gold legend.

“He works so hard and attentively in the background, but his work is profoundly felt up front, at every single weekly session and Electric Umbrella performance."