A FORMER soldier is standing for election in Westhoughton.

Chris Hill, 33, has been chosen as a Conservative candidate for Westhoughton South, after months of community work to help those in the area.

The dedicated resident, who spent seven-and-a-half years in the Army, is in the running to be the ward's next elected official, after a friend and fellow Conservative candidate, Andrea Finney, asked whether he'd be interested.

He said: "Politics was never something I aimed for, I'm not very experienced with it but when Andrea asked me she said 'it's not about the country's politics, it's about you being able to access things that will help you to help the community.'

"Then I thought 'you know what, if I do this it'll put me in a better position to help those people I don't have the resources to help now.'

"I think most people want someone that's like them, that means well with whatever they do.

"I always wanted to join the Army and then when I left I thought 'well now what' and I've just been job hopping ever since.

"The only place I thought I fit was when I was helping the community."

Mr Hill worked with the Westhoughton Assist Service throughout lockdown, handing out food parcels and doing welfare checks to people in need.

He left the group after people from outside the area began contacting him for food, with the heartache of turning them away pushing him to start a wider venture.

Now, he helps people in need through the Darren Deady Welfare Unit, and organises a litter picking group within the community.