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In loo-ving memory of kind Alan
Wednesday 12th February 2014 @ 08:00 by Mark Phillip

loos3Barbara and Susan

The Mind allotment on Grange Road in Hyde now has two new additions after a local man left a legacy to the charity in his will.

Alan Hutchinson’s generous donation made it possible for Tameside, Oldham and Glossop Mind to buy three composting toilets which are now at the Grange Road and Baron Road allotments.

Alan experienced depression and panic attacks for a lot of his life.

Though he never sought any formal help, Alan found a way to cope through his garden, finding solace in growing fruit, vegetables and flowers.

Sadly at 81, Alan passed away, but he left behind a donation he hoped would help others who had had similar experiences as himself.

His daughter, Barbara, said: “His death was a shock and we still miss him
terribly, but it was so nice that he’s thought of others, but that’s who he was, very caring and considerate and a humble man.”

CEO of Mind, Richard Edwards, met with Barbara and Alan’s other daughter, Susan, to discuss how his donation would be used and after discovering his love for gardening mentioned the possibility of composting toilets.

Richard said: “As an organisation we’ve got a very strong ethics and environmental ethos and we were unhappy with having portaloos with the cost of hiring them and the chemicals.

“We thought it would be much more in keeping with our philosophy if we could have composting toilets, so that’s been our aspiration for a little while.

“So we thought rather than put Alan’s donation into the general coffers, because it’s a generous amount we would mark it in some way.

“I mentioned the compost toilets to his daughters wondering what they’d think and they were absolutely made up and said that Alan had a wicked sense of humour when he was alive and if he was up there now looking down thinking that some of his money had been spent on toilets, he’d be rolling in his grave with laughter.”

Alan felt very strongly about raising awareness of mental health and his
family felt the money going towards the allotments would be fitting as gardening helped him so much in his own life.

Barbara said: “He was so open about his depression, which is quite unusual in a man of his age, but he was very aware that others were suffering and felt so strongly about it, he was very respected for talking about it.

“He would have been happy to help the allotments and even more would have welcomed the opportunity to raise awareness of mental health.”

Three toilets were commissioned and Alan’s daughters travelled to Hyde for the official opening.

Two toilets are now at grange Road and one at the Baron Road allotment in Gee Cross.

It’s been a tough year for the family as Alan’s wife passed away shortly after Alan, but they are proud of his generosity and glad that his legacy will live on after they were able to name the toilets in his honour.

His daughters and grandchildren chose the names Alan’s Khazi, Alan ’s Privy and Alan’s Bog.

Barbara added: “He was a brilliant and funny man and this would definitely appeal to his sense of humour.”