One Christmas, Darius Campbell Danesh dropped into the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice in Glasgow and entertained our staff and volunteers with a few songs.

He loved singing the golden oldies – Rat Pack music. I just recall thinking his voice was hypnotic.

I’ve known Darius for about 10 years in my capacity as Chief Executive of the hospice, having first met him when he came to visit the hospice to meet some of our patients, staff and volunteers.

It’s why I can’t describe the sadness I felt when I heard he had died earlier this week – and at such a young age. My immediate thoughts are for his family.

The world has lost a very special person and the whole hospice team will miss him greatly.

We had all watched his progress on Pop Idol and Popstars and greatly admired his talent and resolve for pursuing his dreams.

As a Glasgow boy, he was only too happy to be invited to become an ambassador for the hospice. He was a keen supporter of our work and was willing to help in any way he could.

Darius first became an ambassador for us about 10 years ago. He wanted to support charities in his hometown and, with both his parents being from a clinical background, he was very passionate about the care we provide for patients.

Ever since then, he’s been a very good and loyal friend to the hospice staff and loved spending time with our patients.

His relationship with us was very relaxed – just dropping in when he was in Glasgow. He had a very easy way about him, namely a good old-fashioned charm that is rare these days. He was an old soul and someone who had time for everyone.

We formed a strong bond with him because he was passionate about the hospice and its work and was a great advocate for us – wherever he went.

He understood the vital service we offered, caring for 1,200 patients and their families every year, both in the hospice and in local communities in Glasgow and the surrounding areas.

Darius joined the hospice at many fundraising events, entertaining our supporters.

Our Director of Fundraising, Jackie Malloy, told me that it was always a pleasure to work with and welcome Darius into the hospice during the eight years she’s been with us.

She remembered him as a kind soul who always ended his phone calls by saying ‘lots of love’ – a real gentleman.

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He had a real passion for wanting to know and understand more about the care we provided to patients and – more importantly – spend time with them, often entertaining them and singing to them in the ward.

In fact, in 2016, he had 400 women in the palm of his hand at our ladies lunch event – singing, chatting and just making them feel like they were the only girl in the room.

We had a few hilarious moments with him, with the girls forming a queue to meet him. He was a very handsome and charismatic man.

He was very charming and genuine in his approach and made time for everyone, while helping us to raise much-needed funds for the hospice. As a celebrity ambassador at these types of events, he helped the hospice raise tens of thousands of pounds over the years.

He was also a great family person and often brought his parents with him to events. It was clear, after getting to know them, where his good manners and caring approach came from. They were genuinely nice people.

Darius will be remembered fondly by everyone he met.

Indeed, we’ve had tributes flowing into our social media from people saying how much they enjoyed meeting him at our events and what a genuinely nice person he was.

Darius was one of the most giving people I have ever met. He will be sorely missed.

For more information about the work of the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice, visit their website here.

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