Kind-hearted DIY enthusiasts helped to paint a smile on the faces of thousands of people, including the family of 2 year-old boy with leukaemia, last year, by donating over 465 tonnes of leftover re-usable paint to brighten up homes and communities across the UK.

Over 300 million litres of paint is sold in this country every year, of which an estimated 50 million litres remains unused; stored in homes, sheds and garages or simply thrown away.

In 2012 householders, traders and paint manufacturers donated 387,495 litres of paint to Community RePaint schemes, which then distributed 218,364 litres to some 2,214 community groups and 17,296 individuals, providing 190 jobs and 1,274 volunteer and training opportunities.

Community RePaint South Lancashire, working together with Macmillan Cancer Support, helped the family of young Dion by decorating their new home, after they had no choice but to move closer to the hospital providing the intensive therapy needed to treat their son’s condition.

Martin Gamester, Manager of Community RePaint South Lancashire, heard of the family’s plight and offered the services of the scheme’s Paint Shed programme, to decorate their new council house in Burnage, Manchester. Using paint donated to Community RePaint, The Paint Shed’s team was able to decorate Dion’s bedroom with a Disney theme and paint the rest of the house, as well as providing furniture and carpets. Volunteers from the local church and Macmillan Cancer Support also helped to spruce up the lounge, lay a floor and tidy the gardens.

“We basically made the house habitable by painting and decorating the whole house,” explained Jamie Monks, manager of The Paint Shed, “The family are absolutely made up with the results and are amazed just how many people got involved at no cost to them for this worthy cause.”

Community RePaint schemes collect unwanted, surplus paint and re-distribute it to individuals, families and communities in need, improving the wellbeing of people and the appearance of places across the UK. Sponsored by Dulux, the Community RePaint Network is celebrating two decades of bringing colour to life.

Paul Murgett, Environmental Projects Co-ordinator, said: “Over the last 20 years Community RePaint has made a huge difference to families, like Dion’s, across the UK through the re-use of paint. 2012 was no different and the figures show another fantastic effort to enhance the lives of those in need through both decorating and work or training opportunities.”

“The Community RePaint Network is made up of 67 schemes across the UK, and we will be taking every opportunity to promote our 20th anniversary this year to raise awareness of paint re-use so that more individuals and community groups than ever before can benefit from brighter homes and communities,” added Community RePaint Network Manager Martin Pearse.

Getting colour from every drop… If your family or community group needs paint, no matter how much or how little, get in touch with your nearest Community RePaint scheme by clicking on ‘Do You Need Paint?’ and entering your postcode or call 0113 200 3959 for more information.

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