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Volunteer painters travel far and wide to decorate hospice in need

Author: Leila Hawkins
20 March 2017

Last year Woodlands Hospice had to abandon their plans to redecorate due to a lack of funds. Then last month, a group of generous volunteers from all over the country travelled to the Liverpool hospice for a “paint over” weekend.

Online Facebook group the Decorators Forum is a national group who share hints and tips on decorating and painting. In a bid to increase their profile they decided to do some charity work.

Craig Lyness, a member of the group, was aware of the hospice because his mother in law is a volunteer there. It was perfect timing when Craig contacted Woodlands to ask if they needed any painting doing. Woodlands were delighted to accept, and after Craig put out a request on the Facebook Forum a total of 39 painters volunteered to help out.

Mike Cupit, the administrator of the Forum, rallied round suppliers with impressive results – a huge influx of donations of materials and equipment to support the project arrived, including 300 litres of Crown paint; brushes, rollers and paint trays, raffle prizes and goodie bags of various products and sundries.

There were more donations from businesses including Holiday Inn, who donated ten twin rooms for the two nights to accommodate the painters who had travelled from across the country, County Insurance provided insurance cover for the workers, Aintree Hospitals provided free parking, and Marks and Spencer donated cakes and biscuits.

Rose Milnes, Chief Executive at the Hospice said

“Painters came from far and wide and locally too with 33 on day one and 17 on day two, all of whom gave their time and expertise free of charge.  They painted double the areas we first anticipated because we had such a fabulous response. We are very lucky to have been chosen for their first charity team effort and delighted with the kindness shown and the team spirit of the Forum.”

“They were great painters but also very caring, kind and very respectful of our environment. Patients, families, staff and volunteers love the new look and the freshness has given us all such a lift!”

“In addition to the painting there was a real buzz at the Hospice leading up to and during the week-end. We were absolutely delighted that ITV Granada Reports and BBC Northwest Tonight covered the event giving due recognition to everyone who kindly took part to make it such a successful venture”.

Ian Pilkington, one of the painters who took part in the weekend, has created an online just giving page for Woodlands in the name of the Decorators Forum which has raised £2,900 including gift aid. Ian said:

“We came from all over the country for what was a truly magnificent weekend. We did what was asked of us plus a bit more. We had tears and laughter and made friends for life. The staff at Woodlands are amazing and we thank them for having us”. 

For more information visit Woodlands Hospice

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