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Pensioner forced from mouldy home moves back after neighbours' £120k makeover

Pat, 70, from Swindon, Wiltshire, was living in a house covered in mould with no central heating or hot water.

Pat from Swindon became ill after her home became infested with mould and rats and now has undergone a £120k transformation. January 22 2024.  See SWNS story SWLNpat. A frail pensioner forced out of her home by mould and rats has moved back in - after  locals raised 120K for a makeover. Disabled Pat, 70, had become chronically ill from damp covering walls and furniture in her bungalow and moved out just before Christmas. Generous businesses and kind locals then rallied together to complete a monster makeover after her living conditions were revealed on social media. The property in Swindon, WIlts., had electricity in just two rooms and the central heating hadn't worked for two years.
Pat after moving back into her refurbished home in Swindon, Wiltshire. (SWNS)

A pensioner forced out of her mouldy rat-infested home has said she is "so grateful" after more than 150 local people helped transform it.

Pat, 70, had become chronically ill from living in her damp-covered home in Swindon, Wiltshire, and moved out just before Christmas.

A total of 154 locals, along with the help of almost 80 businesses, came together to clean up and refurbish her home for free, even though the work carried out would have cost £120,000.

After moving back in, Pat, who is registered blind and suffers from early onset heart failure, said: "It's absolutely amazing what they've done for me.

"I'd like to thank them all from the bottom of my heart and I am so, so grateful to them all."

Pat from Swindon became ill after her home became infested with mould and rats and now has undergone a £120k transformation. January 22 2024.  See SWNS story SWLNpat. A frail pensioner forced out of her home by mould and rats has moved back in - after  locals raised 120K for a makeover. Disabled Pat, 70, had become chronically ill from damp covering walls and furniture in her bungalow and moved out just before Christmas. Generous businesses and kind locals then rallied together to complete a monster makeover after her living conditions were revealed on social media. The property in Swindon, WIlts., had electricity in just two rooms and the central heating hadn't worked for two years.
Pat's living room at her home in Swindon, Wiltshire, after its makeover. (SWNS)
The elderly womans home covered in deadly mould. Release date - November 26 2023. See SWNS story SWLNmould. Friends of an elderly woman have raised £11k to refurb her bungalow - which was infested with rats and covered in deadly mould. Janet Reynolds, 44, had met up with the pensioner, who does not wish to be named, every Thursday for 20 years. But when Covid hit in March 2020, she stopped allowing her into the house. Four weeks ago, when the pair were out for a cup of tea, she asked Janet for help cleaning the bungalow. As soon as she took a look inside, Janet was “horrified” by the amount of mould covering the walls, furniture and all of her friend’s possessions.
The home in Swindon, Wiltshire, was infested with rats. (SWNS)

Pat was told she needed to leave the house by her friend, chef Janet Reynolds, 44, who had been helping with her weekly shops, but had not been inside the house since the COVID pandemic.

When Pat asked her for help cleaning the bungalow, Reynolds said she was "horrified" when she looked inside.

“The house was covered in thick, black mould - it was horrendous. I could barely be in there myself," she said.

Pat from Swindon became ill after her home became infested with mould and rats and now has undergone a £120k transformation. January 22 2024.  See SWNS story SWLNpat. A frail pensioner forced out of her home by mould and rats has moved back in - after  locals raised 120K for a makeover. Disabled Pat, 70, had become chronically ill from damp covering walls and furniture in her bungalow and moved out just before Christmas. Generous businesses and kind locals then rallied together to complete a monster makeover after her living conditions were revealed on social media. The property in Swindon, WIlts., had electricity in just two rooms and the central heating hadn't worked for two years.
The bedroom is now free from mould and damp. (SWNS)
The elderly womans bedroom covered in deadly mould. Release date - November 26 2023. See SWNS story SWLNmould. Friends of an elderly woman have raised £11k to refurb her bungalow - which was infested with rats and covered in deadly mould. Janet Reynolds, 44, had met up with the pensioner, who does not wish to be named, every Thursday for 20 years. But when Covid hit in March 2020, she stopped allowing her into the house. Four weeks ago, when the pair were out for a cup of tea, she asked Janet for help cleaning the bungalow. As soon as she took a look inside, Janet was “horrified” by the amount of mould covering the walls, furniture and all of her friend’s possessions.
The bedroom in Pat's bungalow in Swindon, Wiltshire, was covered in mould. (SWNS)

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“I’ve known her for 20 years - we used to work together. She thinks of me like a daughter. But after COVID happened, she stopped letting me into the house.

“I thought it was odd then she asked me for help cleaning. As soon as I stepped in, I knew she needed to get out.

"Everything was covered, and she was on antibiotics for double pneumonia.”

The house had become infested with rats and mould covered most surfaces, while Pat had been living without central heating or hot water.

She moved in with Reynolds and a GoFundMe page was set up to pay for local tradespeople to refurbish the house.

More South West stories - click above
More South West stories - click above

Reynolds said Pat felt "a little embarrassed" but is overwhelmed by the community's response.

“She’s a very proud lady. I told her, there’s nothing to be embarrassed about.

“She started crying - she can’t believe how generous everyone’s been. The situation was really desperate.”

Pat from Swindon became ill after her home became infested with mould and rats and now has undergone a £120k transformation. January 22 2024.  See SWNS story SWLNpat. A frail pensioner forced out of her home by mould and rats has moved back in - after  locals raised 120K for a makeover. Disabled Pat, 70, had become chronically ill from damp covering walls and furniture in her bungalow and moved out just before Christmas. Generous businesses and kind locals then rallied together to complete a monster makeover after her living conditions were revealed on social media. The property in Swindon, WIlts., had electricity in just two rooms and the central heating hadn't worked for two years.
Pat in the refurbished kitchen of her home in Swindon, Wiltshire. (SWNS)
Janet cleaning the elderly womans kitchen covered in deadly mould. Release date - November 26 2023. See SWNS story SWLNmould. Friends of an elderly woman have raised £11k to refurb her bungalow - which was infested with rats and covered in deadly mould. Janet Reynolds, 44, had met up with the pensioner, who does not wish to be named, every Thursday for 20 years. But when Covid hit in March 2020, she stopped allowing her into the house. Four weeks ago, when the pair were out for a cup of tea, she asked Janet for help cleaning the bungalow. As soon as she took a look inside, Janet was “horrified” by the amount of mould covering the walls, furniture and all of her friend’s possessions.
Janet Reynolds cleaning her friend Pat's home. (SWNS)

The bungalow, which previously had electricity in just two rooms, now has a new boiler and furniture, the rats have been pest controlled, the rotten flooring taken up and the damp dehumidified.

Pat said she is now looking forward to inviting her friends to her transformed home for a cup of tea.

"They can call in and see me on their way home from work, which is wonderful," she said. "Make my life normal again."