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Good Samaritan helps families of unwell children with handyman jobs

Chris Temple, 64, who lives in Ipswich with wife Val, travels up to 70 miles at a time to help families with practical, one-off jobs such as painting and gardening  Picture: EACH

Chris Temple, 64, who lives in Ipswich with wife Val, travels up to 70 miles at a time to help families with practical, one-off jobs such as painting and gardening Picture: EACH

A Good Samaritan is travelling up to 70 miles a time to carry out handyman jobs for families of young people with life-threatening conditions.

Chris Temple, who lives in Ipswich with wife Val, is travelling across Cambridgeshire and Suffolk to help families with practical, one-off jobs such as painting and gardening.

The 64-year-old volunteers for the Help at Home service run by East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).

The service puts caring individuals into family homes to help with not only painting and gardening but also jobs like cooking, cleaning and shopping.

Mr Temple started a short period of Help at Home training four months ago, just two days after he retired from his IT job at Nestlé Purina and having previously worked at Pauls Agriculture.

He has since helped families from Martlesham to Saxmundham in Suffolk and Wicken to Wisbech in Cambridgeshire.

“So far, my assignments have involved painting and gardening, spending three or more hours at each family home,” Mr Temple said.

“Gardening has mainly been clearing overgrown gardens to allow them to be used or making them neat and tidy.

“I have painted ground level rendering outside and a living room inside. I’m not a skilled gardener or decorator, but it was made very clear I can ask not to do anything I feel is outside my skill level.

“I enjoy helping and being part of a team. I appreciate families are hard-pushed to find time to keep on top of less important tasks when they have a child with a life-threatening condition to look after.

“All it takes is a few hours of my time and a bit of sweat – no tears.”

The father-of-three and grandfather-of-four has also managed to raise over £1,000 for EACH, in addition to £175 for the RNLI.

Hugh Fenton-Anwyll, EACH volunteer manager, said: “The support of someone like Chris is invaluable and makes so much difference to families, often allowing parents to be parents as opposed to just caregivers.

“We couldn’t be more grateful to him and hope there are others out there like him, whether in Cambridgeshire or Suffolk, who may want to get involved.”

Anyone from Cambridgeshire or Suffolk interested in becoming a volunteer should contact Mr Fenton-Anwyll on 07714 737139 or email hugh.fenton-anwyll@each.org.uk

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