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Pensioner’s mould and rat infested home transformed after kind locals raise £120k for makeover

The elderly woman’s bedroom covered in deadly mould (Janet Reynolds / SWNS)
The elderly woman’s bedroom covered in deadly mould (Janet Reynolds / SWNS)

Kind-hearted strangers chipped in £120,000 to transform a chronically ill pensioner’s home after it was ravaged with mould and rats.

Disabled Pat, 70, was in December forced out of her home in Swindon, Wiltshire after its damp covered walls and furniture made her ill.

But generous businesses and kind locals rallied together to complete a makeover of the property, which had electricity in just two rooms and was without heating for two years.

Incredible images show the complete makeover, with the damp eradicated, allowing Pat to move back in.

Disabled Pat, 70, was in December forced out of her home in Swindon, Wiltshire  due to damp and rats (Janet Reynolds / SWNS)
Disabled Pat, 70, was in December forced out of her home in Swindon, Wiltshire due to damp and rats (Janet Reynolds / SWNS)
Strangers raised £120k to have repair work carried out (Emma Trimble / SWNS)
Strangers raised £120k to have repair work carried out (Emma Trimble / SWNS)
Pat says she’s looking forward to having friends ‘round for tea (Emma Trimble / SWNS)
Pat says she’s looking forward to having friends ‘round for tea (Emma Trimble / SWNS)

She has had a new boiler and furniture, the rats have been pest controlled, the rotten flooring was taken up and the damp dehumidified.

More than 150 local people and 70 companies helped to clean and refurbish the house - and she has now moved back in.

Pat said: "It’s absolutely amazing what they’ve done for me.

"I’d like to thank them all from the bottom of my heart and I am so, so grateful to them all."

Pat’s home was infested with rats, which she described as "awful" and "scary".

Incredible images show the complete makeover, with the damp eradicated, allowing Pat to move back in (SWNS)
Incredible images show the complete makeover, with the damp eradicated, allowing Pat to move back in (SWNS)

Her friend, Janet Reynolds, 44, had been helping her with weekly shops.

But she had not been inside her house since the pandemic and did not know how bad the situation had become.

When Pat asked Janet for help cleaning the bungalow Janet admits she was “horrified”.

Janet, a chef from Swindon, said: “The house was covered in thick, black mould - it was horrendous. I could barely be in there myself. I’ve known her for 20 years - we used to work together. She thinks of me like a daughter.

"But after Covid happened, she stopped letting me into the house. I thought it was odd then she asked me for help cleaning. As soon as I stepped in, I knew she needed to get out.

More than 150 local people and 70 companies helped to clean and refurbish the house - and she has now moved back in (SWNS)
More than 150 local people and 70 companies helped to clean and refurbish the house - and she has now moved back in (SWNS)

"Everything was covered, and she was on antibiotics for double pneumonia.”

The pensioner is registered blind - and suffers from early onset heart failure. Pat had been living without central heating and bathing with water from a kettle.

Janet “begged and pleaded” with her friend to move in with her instead - while she sought help to refurbish the house.

She set up a GoFundMe page to pay for local tradespeople, fumigators and supplies - where local tradespeople started offering their services.

 (SWNS)
(SWNS)

Despite feeling “a little embarrassed’’ Pat feels overwhelmed by the number of people who came out to help.

“She’s a very proud lady,” she added. “I told her, there’s nothing to be embarrassed about.

“She started crying - she can’t believe how generous everyone’s been. The situation was really desperate.”

Pat has said she is looking forward to inviting her friends round for a cup of tea.

She added: "They can call in and see me on their way home from work, which is wonderful. Make my life normal again."