Swindon school pupils have performed a heart-warming gesture to support an elderly woman currently living away from her home as it is rebuilt due to damage caused by mould and leaks.
The discovery of the disabled elderly woman’s cold, flooded, mould-ridden, and rat-infested living conditions last month led to an outpouring of offers for support as kind-hearted citizens and businesses offered their time, money, and services to urgently sort out the property.
Pupils from Holy Cross Catholic Primary School saw the story reported in the local paper, The Swindon Advertiser, and as part of efforts to spread festive cheer have written letters to ‘Mary’ – whose identity is being kept anonymous – to ‘cheer her up’.
Headteacher Sam Dowdeswell presented an assembly explaining what had happened and reminded the children of the importance of looking after neighbours.
“We also celebrated the kindness and thoughtfulness that so many people have shown to Mary in helping to repair her house,” she explained.
“The children wrote letters to cheer Mary up and will be planting flower pots during the springtime so that Mary can look out of her windows and see some lovely colourful flowers.”
The cards were presented to Sandra Kennelly, one of the people spearheading the huge effort to get Mary’s home back into liveable conditions, by some of the children, some of whom explained why they had done it.
“At school, Mrs Dowdeswell did an assembly about Mary and we decided to write some letters and do some pictures for her,” said 10-year-old Ziah.
“In the spring we will give her some flowers for her garden so that we can spread some joy for her.”
“It’s kind to think of other people at Christmas because some people don’t have families. As a school we raise a lot of money to help those in need,” added Kacper, also 10.
Mary’s house has been completely gutted because it was so damaged by water leaks and mould
It is hoped that the project, which has been described as Swindon’s version of DIY SOS, will be completed in time for ‘Mary’ to move back in before Christmas.
Sandra said: “We are staggered by the generosity and community spirit that has reached far and wide. Thank you all so
Letters from the children being handed to Sandra Kennelly. Mrs Dowdeswell, Bo and Frayn. (Image: Sam Dowdeswell)