Tuesday, March 28, 2023

A Christmas of goodwill in Thurrock

By Lucy Chipperfield

What started as a mere telephone call regarding the welfare of three cats turned into a truly remarkable random act of kindness.

Mrs Hyman, an 85 year old widow from West Thurrock, first contacted the National Animal Welfare Trust to request some assistance with one of her cat’s who had fallen ill over the winter months. Mrs Hyman’s case was forwarded to Maria, a self proclaimed “cat lady”.

The evening prior to our arctic snowstorm, Maria visited Mrs Hyman to inspect the case and see what work was required. During her visit, Maria discovered that it wasn’t just the cats who were suffering, but Mrs Hyman was suffering too.

Saddened by what she saw, Maria tried to persuade Mrs Hyman to go to hospital and get some much needed rest. After much convincing, Mrs Hyman finally agreed to go to hospital, but had one final favour for Maria, and that was to clear and clean her house in time for Christmas. As expected, Maria accepted, for it was the least she could do for Mrs Hyman, given the conditions she had put up with for so long.

Soon after Mrs Hyman was in hospital, Maria called upon friends, family and local businesses to help clean, clear and refurbish her home in time for Christmas.

Three weeks later, nearing the end of the revamp, YourThurrock visited the property and were simply overwhelmed by the staggering transformation Maria had achieved in such a short space of time.

On behalf of everyone at YourThurrock I would like to acknowledge the overwhelming kindness shown by everyone involved within the case, in particular Maria. The commitment and dedication that Maria has shown throughout the refurbishment is remarkable and I suspect Mrs Hyman is going to have a lovely Christmas thanks to Maria and her team.

Furthermore, Maria would like to say a big thank you to Alan, Shirley, Alan, Will, Mike, Bill, Sarah, Laura, the Labour Team for all of their hard work and help throughout the transformation. Thank you to Linford Skip for accepting the constant deliveries and to the Lighthouse for providing a 3 piece suit, a bed and other household items. Thank you to the Animal Welfare Trust for paying for the cats health treatment and to TRUP for donating a fridge. And last but not least, a thank you to ‘a really nice man and lady for donating the carpets for the living room and bedroom’ and to the Ambulance service for all of their help, plus helping to dig Maria’s car out during the snowstorm.


  1. Well done Maria and the Labour Team – 3 rooms decorated, new WC, drains unblocked, new kitchen on its way, central heating working, clean windows, fridge, 3 piece, new cutlery, curtains up, snow/ice cleared. How lovely is Mrs Hayman. We enjoyed the hard work.


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