A devoted mother and grandmother whose self-sacrifice has provided the rock on which her family has depended for years, is to be given a TV-style ‘extreme makeover.’
Pam Walker’s sheltered housing bungalow in Porthill, Newcastle-under-Lyme, is to be transformed after she was named winner of a competition organised by Aspire Housing.
The competition to find Aspire Housing’s most deserving customer was run as part of its 10th anniversary celebrations.
The labour, materials and improvements have all been donated for free by Aspire’s contractors to mark the decade of improvements to homes and neighbourhoods.
Pam’s victory was clinched by a heartfelt letter to judges from her daughter, Karen Ashworth, who is also an Aspire Housing customer.
In the letter, she unveiled the story of her mother’s unfailing support for her children and grandchildren – especially during a 17 week hospital stay that Karen had to undertake, following a stroke, four years ago.
Karen wrote: “We lost our father 11 years ago and Mum became both parents, asking for nothing in return.
“When I was in hospital, she was at my bedside all day and caught the bus back to my son at home to cook for him and look after his needs.
“When I was discharged, and required home help, it was Mum once again who travelled each day by bus to care for me, providing money and much-needed support.
“Mum also gave me the kick I needed to stop feeling sorry for myself and start living my life.”
Pam has also been there to support her other children, giving freely of her time and limited resources.
“All this she does on a state pension,” said Karen.
“She gives more of herself to us all than anyone else I know and asks for nothing back. She extends all this help to her friends, and even strangers who seem in need.”
Pam has moved out of the bungalow to allow the makeover to take place over a number of days.
“When I heard I had won I was over the moon,” she said.
“I am really looking forward to seeing it. I keep asking Karen to give me an idea of what it will look like when it’s finished but she won’t give any secrets away.
“I’d really like to thank Karen so very much for what she has done and I’d also like to thank Aspire Housing for this marvellous surprise.”
An official celebration event to thank contractors and everyone else involved will take place on Friday, 9 December, at the Porthill Green Community Room at Pam’s sheltered housing scheme.
Tim Edwards, Aspire Housing’s Director of Operations, said: “The competition was to win a room makeover, but because Pam lives in a small bungalow the budget can in fact stretch to her hall, bedroom and living-room.
“Pam’s home will be completely transformed and will even include new furniture and fittings. It will be a fitting reward for all the support she has given to her family over the years.”
Thirteen suppliers pledged goods worth total of £7,250 for the makeover. The work will be done by the Group’s maintenance team, working alongside the contractors themselves.
Donor companies are:- Phase 2 electrical contractors; Stable Developments, building contractors; AIB asbestos specialists; BGC heating and roofing; Decor8 paint suppliers; Etchalls fires; Hillserve loft and wall insulation; Linear Interiors; Pegasus exterior cladding contractors; Quinn Radiators; Travis Perkins building supplies; Rixonway kitchens; TW Heating; and Vaillant central heating boilers.
Karen’s winning letter was chosen by a panel of judges led by Aspire Housing customer panel chair, Steve Meakin.