Company pulls together team of painters and decorators to redecorate Banbury hospice free of charge

Painters Matt Packham, Luke Hurst and Michael Hurst
Painters Matt Packham, Luke Hurst and Michael Hurst

A business owner and a group of supporters are giving up their free time to help Banbury’s hospice.

Michael Hurst, a property maintenance provider from Chipping Norton and his partner Claire Percival answered an SOS and have offered to decorate the entire inpatient area of Katharine House Hospice without charge.

The job, which should have cost at least £20,000, is being undertaken in sections as Mr Hurst and his team give up their weekends to get the job done.

Ms Percival said they answered the hospice’s call for help, knowing from personal experience how valuable the service is to those with terminal and illnesses.

“My father’s one wish was to stay at home in his last weeks and the support from hisKatharine House community nurse enabled that to happen. She was involved on a daily basis and saw everything was put in place. Although my father never visited the hospice itself, without the community nursing team and the work they do in the local community, we wouldn’t have been able to grant his wish.

“Everyone has something they can give. For us it is the knowledge and skills to complete the redecoration of the inpatient unit. If we can do that and it can benefit other people, that’s what my father would have wanted.”

Hospice facilities manager Lucinda Lloyd said: “They started at the weekend and they’ve already done two bedrooms.

“There were three working on Saturday and two on Sunday - they’re giving up their weekend days and we’re very lucky to be working with them.

“It’s a massive area that they’ve taken on - there are four family rooms, two four-bedded bays, a huge lounge area, a long corridor with bedrooms off it and the chapel.”

Ms Lloyd said the quotes she had received for the job had been for £20,000 or more.

“I didn’t think we would be able to afford to do the decoration this year. So we put an appeal in our Banbury Guardian column and on Facebook and Michael and Claire responded.”

Mr Hurst’s business undertakes all types of building work, repairs and carpentry. He and Ms Percival reposted the Facebook appeal and between them spent a night fielding calls from people who were willing to help.

Their volunteer group consists of 12 people who will work in small groups at weekends over six months.

The hospice cares for over 250 patients at any one time at the unit and in patients’ home.