Joinery staff help pensioner enjoy Christmas after all

A Plymouth blind woman who was cruelly robbed of her favourite bench will be having a happy Christmas after all thanks to our Joinery staff and generous well wishers.

Southway pensioner Marlene Ryder was distraught after thieves made off with the bench from outside her home earlier this month.

When PCH Manufacturing heard about the theft our Joinery workshop immediately responded by making her a replacement bench.

Simon Walker-Smart, Production Manager (Joinery), said: “Our chief executive saw Marlene Ryder’s story in The Herald and asked if we had a bench in the workshop that we could give her.

“As we make things to order, we didn’t have a bench already made but we used the templates we work from to create a new bench in between the other jobs we’re finishing off before Christmas. We make bespoke products like benches all the time so we’re skilled at creating them quickly.

“We’re just pleased we were able to pull it out of the hat in time for Christmas for Ms Ryder. We really hope she enjoys sitting on her new bench.”

Marlene said: “I loved sitting on the bench in the summer and was upset when it was stolen. I’m pleased I’ve been given a new one – thank you. It’s lovely.”

We weren’t the only ones to help Marlene. When her neighbour, Martina Furniss, heard about her plight, she immediately set up a Just Giving page to raise money to buy a new bench.

In just 36 hours, Martina raised £226, most of it from complete strangers.

This money will now be given to a blind charity and also used to buy plant pots to spruce up the patio around Marlene’s bench.

Martina said: “It’s so sad this can happen, especially just before Christmas. I used to see Marlene sitting on her bench. I’ve never organised online fundraising before but I had about 28 people making donations. One person alone donated £50.”

PCH Manufacturing’s Joinery workshop can make a range of bespoke products including box frame sash windows, fire-rated doors, garden gates, wooden staircases and garden furniture.