National construction charity Band of Builders has announced the projects that it plans to deliver this year to help members of construction industry who are battling illness or injury, making a life-changing difference to them and their families.
The organisation, affectionately known as BoB, is gearing up for at least five substantial projects – three of which require planning permission – in Suffolk, North Yorkshire, Cornwall, Surrey and South Wales.
The beneficiaries include a trainee bricklayer who suffered a catastrophic brain aneurysm; the eight-year-old son of a general builder, who became quadriplegic after contracting meningococcal septicaemia; and a builders’ merchant employee who was left paralysed from the waist down after a spinal abscess.
Band of Builders Operations Director Tony Steel said that work is well underway in planning to deliver these projects, and the charity is already galvanising support from its near 50,000-strong community of volunteers and supporters.
“It’s a heart-breaking process reading all of the applications that we receive from members of the construction industry and their families – who all desperately need help,” said Tony.
“We selected a number of projects that met our criteria and put them forward to the board of trustees, who have given us the go-ahead to plan and deliver five projects this year.”
The projects include:
- Building an extension for a family in Suffolk so that their 20-year-old son can finally return home after more than two years spent in hospital and, latterly, a specialist neurological care centre after suffering a catastrophic brain aneurysm.
- A complete conversion of the North Yorkshire family home of an eight-year-old son of a builder, who lost both legs at the knee and became quadriplegic after contracting meningococcal septicaemia on Christmas Day in 2019.
- Creating a downstairs bedroom and wet room at the Surrey home of a builders’ merchant employee who was left paralysed from the waist down.
- Creating a downstairs wet room for a former joiner in South Wales who is now a wheelchair user after suffering a severe stroke. The family have also asked if the project can include creating a path to make it easier to get him in and out of the house.
- Adapting the kitchen for a Cornwall bricklayer with multiple sclerosis.
The charity has already completed one project this year – which was the second phase of a project that started last October – to level the ground floor and widen doorways at the Herefordshire home of Martin Wilks, a builder who was left paralysed after a fall.
As well as enlisting support from volunteers to sign up for the projects, Band of Builders is also having conversations with its partners and sponsors to procure the materials it will need to complete each project. The charity is backed by major names in the construction industry, including Jewson, Gibbs & Dandy, CT1, Talasey and DEWALT
Late last year, Band of Builders reached the £1m milestone for the equivalent cost of labour and materials that it had delivered through its projects. Reaching the £1m milestone involved 772 volunteers giving up their time for free on projects that took a total of 203 days and involved 18,087 hours of labour. Materials and support are provided by organisations and businesses across the sector, which support the charity on individual projects or through ongoing partnerships.
Speaking about this year’s ambitions for delivering projects, Band of Builders CEO Gavin Crane said that these will only be possible because of the generosity of volunteers and partners who will give their time and materials to complete projects.
“The next wave of projects is a timely reminder of what Band of Builders was set up to do – and that’s make a massive difference to the lives of people from the construction industry who are facing life-changing circumstances,” said Gavin.
“It makes me very proud that we continue to build a community of volunteers and supporters who are willing to support fellow members of the construction industry in their hour of need.”