Although it dates back to ancient Roman times and beyond, graffiti is very much a modern malaise and it is especially distressing when it affects a charitable organisation like Samaritans, which is largely run by unpaid volunteers and has better ways of allocating precious funds.
The Samaritans branch in Norwich, one of more than 200 across the UK, had a long-standing problem with graffiti, which meant continually repainting its entrance doors to obliterate the rude remarks and drawings. The graffiti attack didn't appear to be personal, just the temptations of big wooden doors in a city centre setting, but the problem was real and costly enough, diverting volunteers from much more important work.
Then a chance meeting between Jean Parker, Director of Samaritans' Norwich branch, and John Falder, MD of Manchester-based HMG Paints, provided a solution. Hearing about the problem, John promised a litre of HMG's Superthane anti-graffiti paint, which is widely used in the railway industry to resist spraypaint and other damage to carriage exteriors and interiors, as well as in underground subways.
"After the first dozen or so times spent cleaning from graffiti from our doors, it was becoming rather wearing and it was great to know there's a product like this that deals with the problem once and for all," says Jean. "Until I spoke to John, I didn't know there was such a thing as anti-graffiti paint. It has made a big difference and means we no longer have to repaint our doors every other month. We're very grateful to them."
HMG's Superthane is a 2-pack polyurethane coating offering ultimate levels of weathering, colour retention and resistance to solvents, abrasion and a very wide range of chemicals. Its outstanding solvent resistance means that neither the solvents in the spraypaint used for graffiti tagging, nor the strong cleaning agents used to remove it, will damage the painted surface. Thus it resists marking in the first place and any graffiti that should adhere can be readily cleaned off.
Superthane can be applied to a whole variety of substrates, including ferrous and non-ferrous metals, wood, concrete, plastics and fibreglass, and is available in a full range of BS, DIN and US standard colours, as well as a clear finish for protecting bright metal surfaces. The paint supplied FOC to Samaritans Norwich was in a deep blue to match the building decor.
Currently celebrating its 40th anniversary, the Samaritans branch in St Stephen's Square calls on the services of 169 unpaid volunteers and operates 24 hours a day, dealing with calls from the local community and forming part of the national support network. Last year, Samaritans as a whole received some 4.6 million calls, which were answered by over 18,300 trained volunteers, as part of its mission to provide confidential emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those that may lead to suicide.
Further enquiries to:
Telephone 0161 205 7631