MORE than a year after a cancer charity was ransacked by teenage yobs a kind-hearted decorating firm has done it up for staff and patients.
In just one week Harbour Cancer Support Centre, in Gosport, was transformed by workers from Richardson Decorating Contractors.
As reported, the centre, in South Street, suffered £7,450 worth of damage when two boys, then aged 13 and 15, broke in and wreaked havoc on September 14 last year.
Work to restore it after the break-in had already been done and the centre was fully functional. But the extra work last week has again reassured staff they have the community’s support.
Dick Graham is chairman of the trustees at the charity.
He said: ‘It’s important that we give people the right atmosphere.
‘We need to make people relaxed so that they feel they are welcome.
‘And this does it – it’s really good. We’re really lucky.’
Workers from the decorating firm have replaced the magnolia paint in the building. Now the lounge, treatment and counselling rooms each have a feature wall.
And Mr Graham, whose daughter suffers from cancer, has nothing but praise for them. He added: ‘They were so co-operative – one of the problems with a drop-in centre is you never know who is going to drop in.
‘Occasionally people had to stop painting – one of the apprentices trying to paint the door stopped almost as many times as he started.’
The centre is above the bus station in Gosport, and offers support for people with cancer, along with anyone affected by the condition.
It offers its services across South East Hampshire and is a registered charity.
Administrator Carolyn Scott added: ‘People are so used to hospitals and it can be fairly clinical.
‘But you need that ambience to make people feel comfortable.
‘It’s just more welcoming and it’s more homely and relaxing.
‘It can be quite daunting coming up the stairs, you don’t know what’s behind the door.’
Three experienced painters and one apprentice worked on the centre – they also raised just under £160 for the charity.
The firm brought along 16 Year 10 pupils from all secondary schools in Gosport to see what apprenticeships are like.
Angie Naylor, from the firm, said: ‘It’s certainly given it a facelift. It’s a lot different to how it was when we went in a week last Saturday.’