Murray Leaning

The amazing reno


Businesses rally to help build bathroom for girl


A dozen Nelson businesses have pledged a bathroom makeover for the family of a sick teenager.

Murray Leaning put a post on his Facebook page last Tuesday asking for help after hearing the story of a sick Nelson girl who needed a bathroom fitted out and the response was swift.

He was approached in his capacity as Mitre 10 Mega marketing manager by CCS manager Helen McDonnell, but the cause didn’t fit with the ‘Helping Hands’ project the hardware giant runs.

“But I couldn’t let it sit,” he says.

“I thought ‘you know what, I’ve got to do something’ and just stuck it out there on Facebook, tell the story and see what happens. And it just went bananas from there.”

The pledges came within hours.

“I thought we’d get a free shower or vanity. I didn’t expect it to go like this,” he says.

What he got was everything: shower, basin, toilet, timber, Gib, floor coverings, extractor fan, pre-hung doors, electrical fittings, tapware, plumbing work, insulation, paint, even fast processing of the council consent — everything needed for the bathroom and all of the labour to do it.

“I was shocked,” says Murray. “I couldn’t believe how well it went. I had people like Paul Brockie [of Absolute Energy] come racing in saying ‘listen, all the walls and ceiling insulation you need I’ll give ya, see ya later’. It was incredible.”

In his original post, Murray called the situation a “heart breaker”.

“There is a wee girl who has suffered hugely over her 14 years – and her, and her family are really up against it. Intellectually and emotionally she is just your average teenager – but can’t do the things a “normal”, healthy teen would do.”

CCS asked for the specifics of her health issues not to be published but Murray did describe some in his post, which prompted the outpouring of support.

Murray says the renovation will take place between mid-November and mid-December but he was meeting the family this afternoon to discuss when would be best.

“The aim is to do it over a weekend so this family doesn’t get put out too much.”

He says other businesses have also thrown their hand up to help. “I’ve had Dan Perrin at The Mad Butcher say ‘I can’t swing a hammer but I can cook a great barbecue for the volunteers’.”

Hamish Fletcher Lawyers are also developing a trust account for those who’d like to donate money for the family.

Murray says the whole experience has left him feeling humbled.

“I honestly thought I’d get a few responses but I didn’t expect anything like this. It’s also pretty amazing to have got it all within 72 hours.”