An Insiders Perspective
|Westcott in Bloom the Thatched Bus Shelter|
Picture Peter Trimming
Tonight we can see the 2nd Programme on Channel 4, Cutting Edge Chronic Hoarder at 9pm of the progress Richard has made with the considerable help from Andy Honey that's ( Andy the Gardner) who refers to himself and likes to be known, is getting on with clearing his pile of junk that some claim can be seen from space, well you have to be their first to look I guess, so I have no comments I haven't been above the earth to see it.
But here is what it looks like from down here especially inside
|These are relatively safe that is neatly stacked but still a health hazard especially when you have to crawl over and around them every day to get in and out of your home.|
Richard used to have to spend 20 minutes getting from his chair to the front door to do his paperround and that was crawling sometimes 7 to 8 feet above the floor.
Anyway Richard is a wonderful man. My claim as I know him very well now. He has had dinner with my family and can quite freely knock on my door and be welcomed in. So yes you can count me as one of his friends so to speak.
|Richard Wallace In thought and Contemplating a Smile|
I have therefore assisted Andy Honey in helping to try to make it a better place for Richard, and also consider myself a member of the group and population who consider Andy Honey one of life's good Guys who has stepped up to the plate as Andy the Gardner as he refers to himself and taken on what the Professionals considered impossible or chose to walk away from. For the critics who see tonight's Programme and question why did he move into number 4 and what he stands to gain
For Richards sake Thank God he did it was the right decision.
|Richards Kitchen looking for the door|
Andy is this all we have to clear today
I say to you look, what he has given up, put his family through and what he has been through personally to get Richard where he is today. I should know what I am talking about as I was there and still are and helped Andy with another friend shift the 10 tons of Newspaper out of number 4 during a weekend, earlier this year.
Now originally I must be honest and confess I was a neighbour who just walked by on the same side of the road, not even the other side, but just past the wall of junk and broken down cars oblivious to what went on inside as I commented on the 1st programme I was un aware of what lay inside Richards Home or how bad it was or how anyone could be living like this in 2012 less alone in affluent Surrey, wished once I knew that more of us had got involved sooner and helped but the night I crawled through Tons of News Papers to spend 20 minutes getting to the Chair where Richard existed on the other side, through 10 foot high walls of newspaper I vowed I had to get involved and do something and no longer could walk by on the otherside.
|Just another Pile to clear from whats been cleared|
Andy has done an outstanding job in helping Richard as the first programme portrays, but importantly Richard and Andy have become good friends. Andy has been involved with Social services even has a Counsellor organised for Richard and has been instrumental in assisting Richard to get his life back on track in so many ways. He takes Richard to meetings in London, in his spare time to meet other hoarders.
|Andy's Joy One Room is clear in Nos 4|
In addition Andy has sacrificed his time from work and his family to run around on Richards behalf, so like everyone else who has followed this story I am keen to see how the programme comes across especially as I may pop up in it.
May I say I am a reluctant participant shy of Cameras and Microphones..
Working closely with Richard and Andy I have been privileged and party to what is going on and yet also amazed with how Richard and Andy have worked together so well together and just how much they have achieved to help Richard progress forward.
Richard is still very vulnerable and needs all our help as a Westcott Community but with Andy's leadership through help and support from our Church community he has received help from 30 plus people on chain gang style working parties moving tons of paper from Richards Home and Garden on Saturdays. Without the support of the Church mainly he wouldn't have got this far so quickly.
On the day Andy and myself with Richard cleared to the Bed, Richard could lay down for the 1st time in 12 years. For Andy to move into number 4 we had to shift 10 tons of paper over a weekend from the ceiling to the floor in each room. For my part I have got to know Richard and Andy very well now and as part of a smaller team helping them both I am all the wiser and better for it. So it just goes to show you never know what life has in store for you or your neighbours and one day you walk past a totally Stranger in need and a few weeks later you are able to call that stranger a friend and you are the friend helping the need by your own deeds its a strange old world .
|A long weekend to clear No 4 We worked into the Night|
Richard is going from strength to strength but still has a long way to go but his days of crouching around the infamous stove surrounded by 10 foot high stacks of Newspaper, boiling an egg are really at an end. As for the paper round he still continues although Andy and myself try to encourage Richard to refrain from taking home left over papers. So for those concerned with security and risk Richard is in a better place mentally and physically addressing his problems. Andy is continuing to sacrifice his time to help Richard and yes Westcott is growing as a community.
|Richard Celebrates His Birthday cuts his cake|
|Richard Birthday Cake|
Richards Birthday Cake
It tasted as good as it looks
Its all mostly good here.
If you want to keep up with the latest I will with Richards consent publish more pictures and footage as the story unfolds in the meantime get in touch by e mail add comments