Trade helps Band of Builders complete 29th project

A group of volunteer tradespeople, along with building material suppliers and merchants have completed a project at the home of a Herefordshire builder left paralysed after a fall in a bid to help him gain greater independence.

Band of Builders (BoB) finished the first phase of the project in October 2022 to level the flooring on the ground floor of the Almeley home of Martin Wilks who was left paralysed from the chest down after falling off a stepladder in June 2018 and hitting his head on a concrete planter, causing a severe traumatic brain injury. Volunteers also widened doorways to make it easier for him to move around in his wheelchair.

Recently, up to a dozen volunteers from the national construction charity – which completes practical projects to help members of the UK construction industry who are battling illness or injury – returned to install new flooring and tiling, carry out electrical work and decorate over the course of two weekends in January.

Wilks was initially put in an induced coma and also suffered strokes, seizures, infections, pneumonia and a lung abscess while in hospital. The 68-year-old finally returned to his home in Almeley, Herefordshire, in February 2019 after regaining some of his independence following a long period of rehabilitation. In the same year, a team of BoB volunteers travelled to the general builder’s home to install a new wood-burning stove to replace an unsafe and impractical open fire. After the initial project, Wilks’s family and friends crowdfunded to build an extension and specialist wet room to help him regain his independence and live comfortably at home with his wife.

Band of Builders is sponsored by Tarmac, the building products business, and backed by other major names within the construction industry, including JewsonGibbs & DandyV12 FootwearTalaseyResideo and Haemmerlin. Garry Gregory, Packed Products Director at Tarmac, said: “We are always proud to get involved with and support the important work of Band of Builders. The life-enhancing projects they are delivering on behalf of those who work in the industry and their families are making a real impact where it’s needed most. It’s an honour to work with Band of Builders again, and we look forward to being involved in many more projects to come.”

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About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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