Dagenham pensioner delights in 90-minute home makeover

PUBLISHED: 11:00 17 February 2016

Leader Cllr Darren Rodwell with Mrs Reeves

Leader Cllr Darren Rodwell with Mrs Reeves


How much can you realistically improve a home in an hour and a half?

Mrs Reeves with the decoration teamMrs Reeves with the decoration team

One 83-year-old Dagenham resident saw that question emphatically answered on Monday when a team of decorators – and the leader of the council – popped by to spruce up the house she has lived in for the past four decades.

“The work today has made me feel really spoilt,” said Eileen Reeves, who shares her home in Winding Way with her 53-year-old daughter.

She was delighted with the “fantastic job” the team did in her hallway and living room.

Mrs Reeves was chosen from a list of elderly council tenants who applied to a Barking and Dagenham OAP decorations scheme, which carries out minor work for residents unable to do it themselves.

The work is also part of the council’s commitment to bringing all of its properties up to the governement’s Decent Homes Standard by 2020.

More than £40million has been spent on improving around 4,300 homes so far and a further £60m is expected to be spent renovating 7,000 more.

The standard includes having a kitchen that is 20 years old or less, a bathroom that is 30 years old or less, safe and efficient heating and electrical wiring and an appropriately situated toilet.

Speaking about the work done at Mrs Reeves’s home, leader of the council Cllr Darren Rodwell praised the project for creating a sense of unity in the borough.

“I am thrilled that Mrs Reeves is happy with the work – and that I didn’t mess up any of the painting,” he said.

“As a part of the Decent Homes programme we ask our contractors to give something back to the community.

“Days like today are important as they bring the council, the community and businesses together.”

Meanwhile housing firm United Living, which joined the council for the 90-minute makeover, praised the quality of work done at Mrs Reeves’s house.

Divisional director Daren Mosely said: “The improvements today will have a lasting, positive impact on the lives of two tenants and this is something that we strive for across all of our projects.

“It demonstrates that when we come together to work as a team, we can be far greater than the sum of our parts.”

The company’s contribution also pleased Cllr Rodwell, who thanked it for “giving back” and being “socially responsible”.

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