Generous Swindonians who rallied to help a pensioner living in a dangerous bungalow hope to have her house fixed by Christmas.

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.

‘Mary’ – whose identity is being kept anonymous - is staying with friend Janet Reynolds while her family home is being made habitable. She is blind in one eye, has heart problems and was hospitalised with pneumonia.

Since the Adver first reported on this huge community effort, the house has been completely gutted and 541 people have donated more than £13,000 to cover the costs of necessary repairs.

The project, which has been described as Swindon’s version of DIY SOS, has seen all the floorboards and ceilings removed due to the extent of the black mould, damp, and water damage thought to be caused by leaking pipes in the attic and foundations.

Swindon Advertiser: Work continues to repair a Swindon pensioner's dangerous bungalowWork continues to repair a Swindon pensioner's dangerous bungalow (Image: Sandra Kennelly)

Organiser Sandra Kennelly said: “All the plaster is off the walls, floors are up, ceilings out, and wood has been delivered for the floor replacement which has begun.

“At this rate, Mary could well be back in her home in time for Christmas. That would be a real miracle.

“Some small bills have been paid but so far, the team has done amazingly getting either free labour from skilled experts to at-cost materials or free, and we are extremely grateful.

“Thank you for your continued support.”

Swindon Advertiser: It is hoped that 'Mary' can return to her safer home by ChristmasIt is hoped that 'Mary' can return to her safer home by Christmas (Image: Sandra Kennelly)

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Carpenters are needed to lay the new floors and ceilings with the oversight of Brendan O’Neill of Emerald Damp Proofing, who has become the project’s manager.

Corroventa UK donated dehumidifiers to clear the air inside the property, and the electrical experts at Cantillon Group have offered to re-wire everything because the existing circuitry was condemned and did not work in most of the house.

The central heating, which had not worked for two years, is being replaced and a new kitchen is being installed as rats had settled in the old one.

Swindon Advertiser:

Sandra added she was "truly amazed at how far and wide not only the fundraising has reached, but the offers of labour, materials, etc, has been nothing but amazing".

“We are staggered by the generosity and community spirit that has reached far and wide.

“Thank you all so much.”