A CLEANING business that was started because a dad wanted to spend more time with his five children has thrived during the pandemic.

SEC Surrey Exterior Cleaning began a year ago when Tom Kitchener grew tired of spending so much time away from his family while working as a plumber for Thames Water.

He and his brother Ashley set up the cleaning business, offering to smarten up any outside areas.

Their biggest call at the moment is for cleaning wheelie bins, but they also clean windows, gutters, roofs, decking and walls.

Tom’s partner, Melisa Lody, said the work has kept going during the pandemic because it is outdoors.

Melisa, who does the admin for the company, said it has contracts with a local authority to do house clearances and also to carry out garden maintenance.

SEC Surrey Exterior Cleaning is offering a year’s free bin cleaning to someone who has done something special for the community during the coronavirus pandemic.

Last year, it donated money to a local woman who was raising money for a hospital charity by various means, including dressing up while taking out her bins.

“This year we are looking for people to nominate someone who really deserves this,” said Melisa, who grew up in Knaphill and now lives in New Haw with Tom and their five children.

The company’s Facebook page has already received nominations for the prize.

One read: “She is always there for me. Has helped me through some awful events in my life and shared some of the best! So blessed to have her in my life.”

Another nomination read: “He has worked his socks off all through this lockdown and has gone above and beyond to help all his family out, even doing meals on wheels at Christmas for us. He truly deserves a little helping hand.”

Some of the nominations are from grateful children and include: “She is the best mum and us kids are not the most easiest with all our problems, but she is amazing with dealing with us,” and “she is the strongest, bravest and most loving Mum and Nanna a girl could wish for.”

* For more information, call 01932 301007 or email [email protected]