A 98-year-old volunteer who has devoted almost 30 years of his life to St Michael’s Hospice in Hereford has been honoured by the King.

Ernest Randolph Langford - affectionately known as ‘Randy’ - was described as “a bit of a legend” and an “incredible force” after being presented with his Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) medal.

The accolade was in recognition of his sterling work picking up collecting tins for St Michael’s for the last three decades.

The medal was presented to him by the Lord-Lieutenant of Herefordshire, Edward Harley CBE, during a special ceremony at St Michael’s in Bartestree.

Mr Langford told those attending that he found the role very rewarding, adding he was delighted to be supporting St Michael’s.


“It’s a place for which the citizens of Herefordshire can be justly proud,” he said.

Over the last 30 years, Mr Langford has helped bring around £400,000 into St Michael’s by picking up tins from schools, places of work and community centres across Herefordshire.

This figure has been boosted by the sale of festive Hospice Christmas badges, distributed countywide.

At any one time, Mr Langford has more than 200 Hospice tins in shops and workplaces across Hereford and beyond, and there are a number of willing volunteers who help him out.

During the ceremony where he received his BEM, Kay Garlick, a Deputy Lieutenant of Herefordshire and St Michael’s Hospice Trustee, described Mr Langford as “a bit of a legend”.

“He is an example of a local community volunteer who goes out of his way to help others through practical actions,” she said.

Mr Langford's collecting journey began in the early 1990s following a chat with John Caiger, then a member of the Hospice’s Development Trust.

He asked Mr Langford whether he would be interested in picking up collection tins from shops and workplaces, but Mr Langford found precious little in the way of collecting tins - particularly full ones - early on.

“I phoned John, told him things weren’t good, and asked if I could use my initiative and take the tins into some new places, which he agreed to,” he said.

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