Cheshire Life: January 2019 49
It was a moment of mixed emotions for Richard Price when the letter arrived at his home in Upton, Chester, telling him he was to receive the British Empire Medal.
‘At first I thought it was a letter from the taxman, because it was on Her Majesty’s Service,’ recalls Richard, aged 71, ‘Just at the point I was opening it, my wife walked in the front door and I was about to cry. That’s how shocked I was.’
Richard, a retired British Telecoms engineering manager, was nominated for the BEM for services to the Samaritans and the community of Chester. He has volunteered for the Samaritans for 42 years, and still has a special role leading a team of volunteers who support a team of listeners at HMP Berwyn, Wrexham.
With his wife Ann, Richard has also been a puppy walker for the Guide Dogs charity for several years. Living near to Chester Zoo means the puppies they train ‘won’t be upset by lions roaring and can tolerate the smell of elephant poo’.
‘I didn’t do the stuff I was doing to get any kind of recognition,’ says Richard.
‘I’ve still got in my head that there are hundreds, thousands of people out there in the community doing much more than I’ve done, and deserve to be recognised for the effort they’ve put in.’
‘Richard has volunteered for the Samaritans for 42 years and has a special leadership role’