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Every day when Gavin Roberts heads to work, there’s a chance he could save someone’s life.
There’s no denying the paramedic of 16 years is an ‘every day hero’ – and it would seem his nine-year-old son agrees.
Evan was tasked with dressing up as a hero – fictional or real – for a charity fundraising day at school.
And what he did next was utterly heartwarming – he asked to go as his dad.
Wearing a full paramedic uniform, borrowed from Gavin’s colleagues at the Basingstoke base of South Central Ambulance Service, sweet Evan went to school with a smile, representing his old man.
Father-of-two Gavin, 50, from Tadley in Hampshire, said it warmed his heart and left him "quite emotional".
"It hadn’t really dawned on me until I saw him dressed up and I thought ‘he really does think I do something special’," he said.
"All the kids went as Iron Man or characters from the Avengers and he was thinking about it, it was not spur of the moment – he thought about it for a couple of days.
"It’s just been really nice.
"I thought he thinks of me as the disciplinarian."
Evan attends Bishopswood Junior & Infant School in Tadley, which had a whole-school non-uniform day on Friday to raise money for children’s charity Syndromes Without a Name (SWAN UK).
A letter sent home to parents said the charity is close to the hearts of everyone at the schools due to a link with a pupil.
It said: "We would invite you to send your child to school dressed as a hero (super or personal!).
"The charity encourages the costume to promote empathy and understanding for all of the ‘superheroes’ with undiagnosed conditions.
"We intend to split the funds raised between a donation to SWAN UK and a contribution to an inclusive resource for school that aids the development of language skills for all pupils.
"We look forward to donning a cape with your little heroes!"
Gavin said his wife Emma, 47, asked Evan what he wanted to dress as, and never expected what came next.
"He was unsure at first," he said.
"The next day he says ‘I want to go as dad’.
"Emma said I’m sure dad can sort you out with some uniform.
"I borrowed some of a member of staff – someone who was XS!"
It was only when Evan came downstairs on Friday morning wearing the ‘costume’ that Gavin truly realised the meaning of what his son had asked to do.
"I felt quite proud that’s how he views me because always wonder as a parent what your kids think of you and their understanding of what your role really is," he said.
"I must admit, I was quite emotional."
Not only did Evan’s lovely gesture move his mum, dad and brother Thomas, 13, it’s stirred some of the ‘big blokes’ Gavin works with, too.
The paramedic posted a picture of Evan dressed up on Facebook, which was liked by hundreds of his friends.
"It’s touched a lot of people," he said.
"I have had some people that have direct messaged me saying what a lovely thing that he decided to do.
"The post has 260 likes on Facebook, I’ve never had a reaction like that before.
"There has been a lot of my friends opening up about what they think of me, it’s quite nice.
"People have been messaging me saying they think I’m a hero.
"You know what these big burly blokes are like, they won’t say it openly on Facebook, but they’ve sent me private messages."
Rachel Moir, special educational needs coordinator at the school, said: "In support of one of our parents we wanted to raise empathy and awareness for the charity that support children with syndromes without a name.
"It was a lovely touch for Evan because it’s a superhero day and most came as Marvel comics heroes and we gave children the option to come as personal heroes as well.
"It was really nice to do something positive and spread positive vibes."
A spokeswoman for South Central Ambulance Service said: "We know that our staff across South Central Ambulance Service are inspirational and heroes to those whom they look after every day either in person or on the phone, their hard work and dedication touches lives.
"As we look to celebrate the 70 birthday of the NHS we know, that as patients ourselves and employees of it we would be lost without it.
"It is so touching to hear that our amazing members of staff are seen as heroes by their families and to hear this one such story is testament to the important place they have in peoples lives."
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