JOSEPH Ralph Homer is celebrating an incredible 50 years as a Samaritans volunteer.

Eastbourne & District Samaritans welcomed CEO Julie Bentley to acknowledge Ralph’s amazing efforts.

He lives in Eastbourne and was also a Branch Director from 1976 – 1979.

Current Branch Director, Gillian Mills said “I didn’t want this event to go unnoticed.

Helped thousands

“Ralph has been a tremendous asset to our Branch over the years and so I contacted Julie in desperation.

“She answered my messages in minutes, and agreed to come and make a personal visit, I was so thrilled.”

Ms Bentley made the special trip to the Branch for a lunchtime celebration, and she said: “It was such a privilege to join Eastbourne Samaritans to thank Ralph for an extraordinary 50 years of service as a Samaritan.

Very modest

“He is a remarkable man who, through his dedication and hours of listening to those in distress, will have helped thousands of people over the years.”

A very modest Ralph added “It’s very nice that so many people should take the trouble to turn up on this occasion, but it’s not just for me it’s an opportunity for everyone to get together for a change, but I’m pleased to be the excuse!”

The Samaritans has 201 branches across the UK and Ireland and, in 2020, more than 20,000 people volunteered their time spending over one million hours answering calls for help.

This was via the unique 24- hour listening service, email, letter, face to face and Welsh language service.

If you’re in need of emotional support call 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org

Eastbourne Samaritans is in Bolton Road.

Pictured: Gillian Mills, Joseph Ralph Homer, Julie Bentley