TEAMS of volunteers from Nationwide have been hard at work this week redecorating flats in Old Walcot for people with mental health issues.
About 25 staff from departments across the Building Society, based in Pipers Way, helped give the five flats a new lease of life by repainting the walls and cleaning the carpets.
David Bolt, the head of data centres at Nationwide, said: “It went really well.
“There were a lot of people working in confined spaces and it’s a very physical and hands-on work.
“I wanted to do this I think because it’s really tangible and you can actually see the results come about.
“It’s also a really good way to feed back into the community and making a difference to other people’s lives.
“Nationwide does try to do many community-based projects and this is just one of them.
“They encourage us to do two days of volunteering work in the community each year.
The project was a collaboration between Nationwide, the Bromford Housing Group, which works with Swindon Council to provide affordable housing in the area, and local charity Love Swindon.
Bromford approached Love Swindon, an initiative from Citifaith Church to make Swindon a better place for everyone, after it took over the housing scheme last May and found many residents did not have beds, sofas, or washing machines and their flats were in need of urgent renovation.
Bromford support worker Corrina Rose said: “I’ve been working for a few months to make sure our customers had furniture items they needed to start managing homes, but the final thing was a lick of paint. This is when I got in touch with LoveSwindon.
“This whole project has been life- changing for our customers, they’re already saying how they finally feel they have a home.
“A few of the residents are also now interesting in exploring volunteering work themselves, which will be great for their support.
Lucy Edwards, a trustee for Love Swindon, said: “It really has been a partnership between the three organisations.
“We’ve had about 55 volunteers working on the units and it really has made a difference. Some of the ladies who live there haven’t had their flats decorated since they’re lived there and that’s been 16 years.”