A BIG-HEARTED garage is set to host a 25 hour 'paint-a-thon' to raise cash for charity in the memory of a fellow mechanic.

Richard Woods was 51 when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer of the brain, lung, liver and small bowel on June 7 2018.

He sadly died a few weeks later on August 8 2018.

Richard's wife Cara then embarked in a trek across Iceland and raised in excess of £8,000 for St Helena Hospice in Colchester.

Now Cara has teamed up with the Silver End garage, Henry’s Auto Body Shop, which is owned and run by Henry Walls, who will help restore Richard's beloved car while also raising cash for the hospice.

Before he became unwell, Richard had spent 5 years restoring his 1975 Toyota Celica.

Cara said: "The Toyota Celica was Richard’s prized possession.

"I promised Richard I would get it back on the road somehow.

"Richard has always said he wanted Henry to do the body and paint work and he was looking forward to reassembly – which also scared him to bits!”

“Richard spent many evenings, Saturdays and Sundays at C.J.Eley & Co’s Garage - where he worked for 30 years – stripping the car down and trying to source new bits required from Australia, Spain and the USA.

"This had taken many years and Richard painstakingly cleaned up all the bits going back on, and rebuilt the engine and the gearbox.”

“The thing that would bring tears to Richard the most is that he will never get to see the Toyota Celica finished or be able to drive it”

Henry Walls was given the task to complete the paint work on the car but says he knew he wanted to continue fundraising for St Helena Hospice Colchester.

He added: "At a time when charities are struggling as many fundraising events have been cancelled, I thought this would be a good time to do my bit.

"St Helena have lunched an urgent appeal for funds and by doing this event, we are aiming to raise at least £2,500”

“We have managed to source the paint for free and we will be donating our time and skills to get the job done in a 25 hour paint-a-thon.

"It is 25 rather than 24 hours as The clocks will go back one hour this weekend during the task!”

“In the 25 hour period we will prep and paint the car. The interior will remain in the same condition as we received it as requested by Cara as a memory of when Richard used the car himself.”

The event will be held from 7am Saturday 24 October until 7am Sunday 25 October and updates will be posted on the Henry’s Auto Body Shop Essex Facebook page.

Unfortunately, due to the current pandemic, supporters are unable to visit the body shop.

The garage say the best way to support the event is to like, share and post on social media.

Anyone who would like to sponsor the event can do so by donating directly to justgiving.com/fundraising/25hour-paint-a-thon