Early January, the Ray Collins Charitable Trust were contacted by the Wantage Independent Advice Centre. They wanted to know if we could help a mother and son struggling to take advantage of a mobility bungalow that had been allocated to them.
Trustees assessed the application and voted unanimously to help out. We set aside £1600 to redecorate the bungalow and purchase necessary appliances.
Several weeks earlier, the son had slipped into a diabetic coma which starved his brain of oxygen and left him brain damaged. He has also had other medical issues, resulting in a tracheotomy which has left him prone to infections.
A long road to recovery awaits this determined 47 year old man, learning to walk and talk again. With very little in funds and little support, there was no way for them to carry out the work required on the property.
Trustees Ray and Phil joined several volunteers for an amazing week transforming an empty shell of a bungalow into a warm, clean, fresh family home.
A lovely lady and her son now have a beautiful home to aid the sons recovery and help her care for him. Hopefully all our efforts will have a positive effect on his health and recovery.
Rolling up our sleeves
Every room has had walls, ceilings, doors and woodwork painted, new flooring carpets & tiles, an amazing New York Skyline hung in the son’s bedroom and a brand new 60cm electric cooker, large fridge freezer and washer dryer installed in the kitchen.
We used water based satinwood paint to keep the paint fumes to a minimum, as the son has breathing difficulties and we didn’t want to cause any issues for him.
After the last brushstrokes and the last carpet fitted, we cleaned the house throughout with an antibacterial spray on windows, kitchen cupboards, window sills, plug sockets, and flooring and steam mopped the hallway, bathroom and kitchen flooring.
A massive thank you to Alan and Maggie Hale who started a week before, filling and sanding all the walls and woodwork and then painting all the ceilings. For a couple of pensioners they worked tirelessly with great fun, energy and enthusiasm. We can’t thank them enough.
Ray Collins, Phil Tynan of Phil’s Home Improvements, Lyndsey Champ and Crystal Hutchins joined Alan and Maggie to magnolia every room and paint all the doors and woodwork.
The mural was put up: a tricky operation made look easy by Phil. Lyndsey joined the gang again on Friday, with second and third coats added to the walls. And carpets and tiles were starting to be laid in the hall.
The final day was mainly snagging, cleaning and tidying up, as the usual suspects were joined by friend of the Trust Karen Goodchild.
Chris Roche, owner of Blind Interiors, very kindly donated and fitted new blinds in the kitchen and bathroom.
And with that, the keys went back to the family for them to enjoy their new home.
“I really enjoy these projects”, said Ray Collins. “Everyone benefits from them. Strangers come together and become friends through hard work, fun and banter – whilst helping amazing people who end up with an amazing home. Win! Win! Win! Roll on the next one.”