DIY hero Danny offers his services free to elderly couple from Leicester
We have all seen the delighted faces on 60 Minute Makeover as residents' homes are transformed from shabby to chic. Now, Leicestershire has its own DIY hero.
Kind-hearted builder Danny Richdale, of Braunstone, is offering his services free to a pensioner couple in need of a new kitchen.
The 29-year-old said he wanted to do a good deed for someone who really deserved it, to give them an early Christmas present.
After putting out an appeal for nominations on Facebook, he decided to help out Joan and Arthur Whitehead, of Thurnby Lodge.
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Danny, who is self-employed, said: "I lost my own nana 10 years ago and I was very close to her, having lost my dad at the age of eight in a motorbike accident.
"I used to go to her house after school and she would take me to Braunstone Working Men's Club to play bingo."
Danny said he was moved by Joan and Arthur's story.
"We settled on helping Joan, who is 67, and her husband Arthur, who is 74 and unable to get out of his chair," he said. "Joan has worked all her life and at one point she held down five jobs.
"To this day, she works at a school in Highfields, cleaning from 2.30pm till 7.30pm, and then has to take the bus home alone to take care of Arthur.
"She's a mum of six and has 17 grandchildren, which keeps her busy at weekends.
"Joan is the heart and soul of her family – she likes to cook and keep everyone entertained."
Danny called on friends in the industry to help out with the project – and the offers came flooding in.
Building and kitchen merchants have provided everything from tiles to work tops, while friends have offered their time and cash donations.
"I've been self-employed in the construction trade for about 12 years and I've found myself doing a lot of favours for people, so I decided to call them in – and people have been fantastic," said Danny, who, with the help of carpenter colleague John Frisby, started work on the couple's bungalow in Ocean Road yesterday.
"Myself, John and the boys are all mucking in, using our spare time to help out this lovely old couple. We had a great response and some very generous donations towards the cost of materials."
Danny is hoping to finish the kitchen this week.
Joan, who was nominated by granddaughter Amy, 25, said: "It's absolutely marvellous. I can't get over it, they're such good people "The first I knew about it was when Amy told me she had put our names forward.
"Doors were falling off in the old kitchen and there was no room to put anything.
"You don't realise there are still people like this around. They're just lovely, what they're doing is so nice."