A TEST Valley man has donated an upcycled bench to a retirement village in Romsey after discovering a 94-year-old's bench was stolen by thieves.

Craftsmen Stephen Scully gave the bench to Hillier Court, Botley Road, after learning a pensioner's piece of garden furniture was snatched from her patio.

However, after being told the woman had already been gifted a new bench by her son-in-law, the 39-year-old decided to donate the bench for all of the residents to enjoy instead.

Stephen, who lives in Valley Park, said: "I first saw someone post about a stolen bench on Facebook, so I phoned the house manager at Hillier Court and he said the family of the 94-year-old had already bought a bench for her.

"I said to him 'I have made this and you can have it', so now it is sitting in the garden for all of the residents to use.

"The bench was an upcycle project because I already had the cast iron ends and they are probably from the 1970s.

"It took three days to get it turned around and the bench wooden slats were finished in a mahogany stain, while the ends were finished in high gloss black."

He added: "When I donated the bench on Wednesday there was a lady who happened to be there and was representing the Hillier Court residents who thought it was absolutely fantastic.

"She said it was the best bench they have got in the garden now."

House manager at Hillier Court Retirement Living, Jeff Cox, said: "The kindness shown by the community has been astonishing during these difficult times and this is yet another example of the goodness shown by people, rallying round, when someone in the community needs help."

This comes after Jeff revealed thanked people from Romsey and Southampton after the lady was offered "not one, but two" replacement benches.

The bench was donated on Wednesday, June 3.

As previously reported in the Romsey Advertiser, the pensioner's bench was stolen between 8pm on Sunday, May 17, and 7am on Monday, May 18.