After a maintenance company failed to look after the external areas of a block of flats in Hemel Hempstead, a local man decided to take the job on himself and bring a smile back on his neighbours faces.
Richard Harper, 69, of Tremaine Grove was fed up to see that the company was failing to keep the outside area neat and tidy, despite the neighbourhood still paid for the service each month.
Though he is a blue badge holder and has severe back problems, he rolled up his sleeves and decided to do the work himself.
His daughter Linda Fawkes said: “Little or no work has been done since December. He is currently taking on the role of the maintenance company that they pay nearly £20k a year to maintain the external areas of the flats.
“He has taken it on himself to do the work in the garden of the flats, spending around £800 of his own money on materials and plants, he has made it look amazing.”
Richard not only has improved the area, but because they are not getting the service they pay for, he also started a petition to ensure work will be carried on.
Linda continued: “My dad has also visited every resident in the area, which took him hours over several days collecting signatures for the petition and he took it to the head office in London. He managed to get 300 signatures.
“He is really good at looking after people, his neighbours love him and the impact of what he has done is very positive. It just makes people smile, which is really good.
“The area often gets bad press, but if people dig a little deeper, they can see it’s a lovely community.”