I approached community service (a government run scheme that allows offenders to give hours of voluntary work instead of serving a prison sentence). Due to my disability I was eligible for help. The work was underway and the garden was looking great. The plan was to decorate my living room and bedroom too.
The work started in my living room. The first coat of paint was applied. The colour was 'stone'. Community service provided the paint from stuff they had lying around so I was grateful to not have to buy paint and was happy to accept any colour. Community service is only available in my area every other weekend so the work was slow.
The following fortnight, the superviser was ill so no-one was able to come out. The fortnight after that, none of the offenders had turned up so no-one came out. The following fortnight a different superviser came but brought the wrong paint. The following fortnight was Christmas and new year.
This weekend, the regular superviser came out with the right paint and three offenders. Work started in earnest. The paint, marked 'stone' was opened and it was cream. Even though I was disappointed, I was desperate to get my living room back to normal so I suggested they go ahead with the new colour anyway. This meant that the walls still needed two coats of paint. The first coat was done and it was time for the workers to finish. I was facing the prospect of another fortnight's wait before the room could be finished.
One of the offenders offered to return the next day and the superviser agreed to drop him off and allow him to work unsupervised. It turned out that he was a trained painter and decorator. He offered to paint a 'feature' wall in the living room. He suggested a paint that gave a 'suede' look to the wall. He suggested chocolate brown to compliment the cream walls. I agreed excitedly but worried that I would have to wait for a fortnight before the room was finished. He said that he would be happy to return again the following day to do the work. He was trying to get his community service hours down. When the superviser returned, we put the idea to him. Unfortunately, due to insurance issues, it wasn't allowed.
He very kindly, offered to come back and do the work anyway. He knew it wouldn't reduce the hours owed for community service but he came anyway. He not only worked for ten hours, solid, but he even picked the paint up on the way!
My living room is finished. It is not the simple 'lick of paint to freshen the room up' that I expected. It is the most beautiful, professionally finished work of art and I am so proud of it! He was so kind and I have no friends who can help (funny how people fade away when you become disabled!). I just had to tell someone!
Yesterday, I was parked at the supermarket, waiting for my daughter, when I noticed the man in the car next to me was struggling to start his engine. Naturally, I gave him a lift home. My own very small act of kindness.