Cancer sufferer’s tears at builder’s act of kindness

Mrs Susan Mary Redfearn with Richard Austin, and Matthew Brand of the Ryan Brand Foundation  and Richard's brother Terry at work in the background. Pic Steve Robards  SR1607888 SUS-160803-120532001
Mrs Susan Mary Redfearn with Richard Austin, and Matthew Brand of the Ryan Brand Foundation and Richard's brother Terry at work in the background. Pic Steve Robards SR1607888 SUS-160803-120532001

A builder and his friends have refurbished a cancer sufferer’s home free-of-charge.

Susan Redfearn met her neighbour Richard Austin when he helped her carry her shopping. So when she wanted some work done she immediately thought of him.

Richard, 29, of Eddington Hill, Broadfield, said: “When I got there I realised who it was.”

He said he ‘couldn’t put a price on it’ after she asked him how much the work would cost. He said not charging her for the labour ‘just felt like it was the right thing to do’.

Richard helped Susan with her shopping when she was being treated for cancer last year.

Richard, who works at SL Building & Gardening Services, said he jumped out of his van when he saw Susan and her husband Dan struggling with their shopping.

Susan, 71, was touched and called him to do some work at her home to celebrate getting the all clear from cancer last November.

She said: “He’s doing the whole lot for nothing.

“I just couldn’t stop crying everytime I saw him because I thought, ‘Why are you doing this for me?’

“They are doing an amazing job - and they are just young men - but are refusing to take a penny from me.

“They are saying they’ve all been connected to cancer in different ways in their lives.”

Richard said that seeing Susan after she recovered from cancer hit him ‘really hard’.

He told her he would only charge for the materials, which he and his friends found at wholesale price.

Susan said she was paying less than £1,000 to have rooms repainted, a new ceiling kitchen with spotlight fixings and new doors and cupboards fitted.

Richard and his friends finished the five-day project on Thursday (February 3).

Speaking on Tuesday, he said: “It’s been manic everyday.

“I’ve asked them to come in, most of them are good friends so I got them in for free.”

Richard, who was born and bred in Broadfield, added: “Everybody has had the cancer touch their lives at some point.

“My nan is dying of cancer as we speak.

“I’ve had a hard life but everybody goes through that struggle.”

Susan said: “He helped because saw Dan carrying a lot of bags.

“He was a neighbour but I never really met him.

“He’s a special friend now.”

Susan was a carer for the Royal National Institute for the Blind at Redhill before she was diagnosed with cancer just before Christmas in 2014. She has two children, eight grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. She plans to get a new job in care.

* Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage

2) Like our Facebook page

3) Follow us on Twitter

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

Always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.