Homeless stalwart retires after 23 years

DIANA Morphew-Hull has helped fix thousands of broken lives in a dedicated career spanning 23 years.

DIANA Morphew-Hull has helped fix thousands of broken lives in a dedicated career spanning 23 years.

But today, the popular manager of the West Villa homeless unit in Woodbridge Road East is taking life a little easier after retiring from the job she has loved for more than two decades.

The grandmother-of-five, who was officially recognised for her sterling work with a surprise party, said: “I have been very lucky to have had a job I adored.

“The support I have received from the staff and the community has been wonderful.

“I recently found the application form I filled out for the job from all those years ago. I had written that people should always be treated with dignity and self respect.

“It made me weep when I read it because I realised I had achieved what I wanted to.”

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Around 300 families come through the doors of the unit every year, making it the council's principal homeless hostel.

Joe Howarth, Ipswich Borough Council's head of housing services, paid tribute to the stability Mrs Morphew-Hull had brought to people's lives.

He said: “She has been a fantastic employee and has made a difference to a lot of people.

“Diana has made West Villa a home and not an institution. She has created a place where people can start to make some changes to their lives.”

Mrs Morphew-Hull, who was previously employed at Ipswich Hospital and with Social Services, will now work at the Corn Exchange on a part time basis, while continuing in her role as chairman of Ipswich Hospital Radio.

She also plans to spend more time with her husband Graham.

She said: “I shall miss all of the people that come through our doors and I will miss the staff.

“It's been a wonderful job, but it's time to move on.”

Have you benefited from the kindness of Diana Morphew-Hull? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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