DIY SOS in West Bromwich: How an army of traders has answered the call
From brickies to electricians, carpenters and decorators the DIY SOS call has been answered by an army of volunteers in the Black Country.
Presenter Nick Knowles was in West Bromwich to kick off work on the home of a family who have been touched by tragedy.
And he was joined by dozens of tradespeople who turned out to help after hearing the moving story of Crystal Chambers and her family.
The 32-year-old died on October 14, 2015, of cancer leaving her two young children in the care of her grieving mother, Sandra.
They now all live together with Sandra’s son, Ziggy, in a two bedroom house.
Crystal’s two children, Deago, aged nine, and Ameira, aged three, have to share a bedroom with Sandra, who is struggling with the situation.
Presenter Nick said: “Sandra is a lovely nan who has taken on the grandchildren after such a tragic loss and Ziggy is doing a brilliant job, almost as a father figure to the kids, at an age when most lads his age would want to go out in the world and do his own thing – he’s a top lad.
“They’re a really lovely family and they came out and met the builders and motivation levels went up and everyone is determined to try and make life a little better for them.”
The team are carrying out a two storey extension to add an extra upstairs bedroom and a dining space for the family downstairs. They will also transform the garden, making it a space for the children to go out in all year round and use Astro Turf to keep it low maintenance for Sandra.
Tradesman Karl Wildman, aged 37, from West Bromwich, runs KP Pro Building and Roofing.
He said: “I heard about it on social media and a lot of people tagged be in so I decided to apply again.
“I heard the story of the family and what can you say, it’s just terrible luck, more bad luck than seems fair. It’s not very often as a bricklayer you get to make a difference, but this is my chance.” Lee Rogers, from Wolverhampton, was one of six teachers from Walsall College helping out on the project.
The 46-year-old teaches painting and decorating at the college and said: “I’m a big fan of the programme and it’s a very worth while cause.
“I’m a decorator by trade, but I’ll do anything here to help out.” The team are still appealing for carpenters for tomorrow and and plasterers for Thursday, Friday and Saturday
Anyone who would like to help out email DIYSOSWestBrom@bbc.co.uk