This is a remarkable event a great gathering of people with hearts of gold providing an emergency service for a very needy part of the town part of the group were green watch Blackburn fire. I have included 2 articles from the Lancashire telegraph and included some publicity photos as well as Blackburn’s hope you enjoy revisiting
News17th September 2019
Delight as work complete on DIY SOS in Blackburn
By Amy Farnworth @FarnworthAmy
VOLUNTEERS cheered with delight as the DIY SOS Big Build for Children in Need was finally completed today.
Nick Knowles and his team of building experts — along with hundreds of volunteers — helped transform the old St Silas Church Hall into an accommodation block for Blackburn-based charity Nightsafe, over the past two weeks.
The renovation work began on Tuesday, September 3, and was due to be finished last Thursday but the big reveal date had to be pushed back to yesterday following a few setbacks.
Staff and volunteers from Nightsafe finally got to see the result of all the hard work this morning.
Jan Larkin, CEO of Nightsafe, said: “Without Children in Need, we would not be here today.
“They’ve funded us for the last six years and really helped our young people; we’re so grateful to all the volunteers, Children in Need and the DIY SOS team.
“This means everything to us. We’ve waited two weeks while all the wonderful people have been volunteering their time. We are desperately in need of accommodation for 16 to 18-year-olds, and this building will make such a difference to those people’s lives.
“It means somewhere safe for them at the end of the day. The teams from Children in Need and DIY SOS have been wonderful from start to finish — we have been so well looked after.
“The accommodation will be in use and open from October 1, and we already have young people ready to move in. It’s going to be fantastic.”
Hundreds of volunteers from the community chipped in to help over the two weeks of the Big Build, with many people bringing food for the hungry crew, including Greggs, Just Eat and Blackburn-based Express Cuisine.
Students from Blackburn Central High School produced a special piece of artwork for the renovation, and tradesmen and women from up and down the country lent their skills to help transform the old church hall into six self-contained rooms.
Among those who volunteered was Chris Baddeley, from Failsworth. The property maintenance manager said it was the sixth DIY SOS Big Build he has helped on and, in order to stay for the full two weeks, he slept in his van in car parks around Blackburn.
He said: “I first helped on the Veteran’s Village build in Manchester and it gets into your blood and you get addicted to it. The feeling of pride and achievement from changing someone’s life by just giving some of your time is priceless.”
Becky Maynard travelled from Cornwall to volunteer and said she has made friends for life.
She said: “I am a volunteer with Team Rubicon, a disaster response organisation, and I’ve a good relationship with DIY SOS so when I heard they were doing something for Children in Need, who I’m passionate about, I jumped at the chance.
“I was meant to stay five days but stayed the full two weeks. I’ve been camping up at Brocklehead Farm near Darwen. The weather has been pretty bad but it’s been an amazing experience, and seeing the change from when we started to when we finished is incredible.”
Following the reveal, which will be aired on BBC as part of Children in Need in November, presenter Nick Knowles addressed the 400-strong crowd, and offered a huge thanks to all who helped out.
He said: “You guys have made it possible for Nightsafe to look after those most vulnerable by providing them with the tools to carry on their amazing work.”
News4th September 2019
DIY SOS: Work starts to transform Blackburn church hall
By Amy Farnworth @FarnworthAmy
WORK on the DIY SOS Big Build Children in Need Special has begun in Blackburn – and presenter Nick Knowles and interior designer Gabrielle Blackman were down at the Preston New Road site, getting stuck into the project.
The team, which includes electrician Billy Byrne and build manager Mark Millar, along with volunteers from the community, are working with charity, Nightsafe, to convert a rundown church hall at St Silas’s Church into accommodation for vulnerable children.
Mark Millar, build manager for DIY SOS, said: “It’s important to us to do this because these are vulnerable young people who need support and guidance.
“We want to provide a place for them to be safe, and when they’re 18 they will be moved into permanent accommodation.
“We still need people of all trades including carpeting and joiners to help with the build.
“This is a job for anyone that wants to help these young people and make a difference.”
The site was buzzing with volunteers early on Tuesday morning, with people from all across Blackburn turning up to lend a hand.
Nick Knowles, who fronts the BBC show, said that despite a great first-day turnout, the team was still desperately in need of volunteers to ensure they can complete the work on time.
He said: “We need a really big response. We haven’t quite had as many people as we want and we now desperately need, over the next two days, carpenters and general builders.
“If you’re a builder or a chippy and you’re working on a site and you can suspend it for a day, please come and join in over the next two or three days.
“Then we need plaster-boarders and plasterers later on in the week, so if you can come and join in with us or give us a couple of hours after work we would really appreciate it.
Mr Knowles, who has fronted DIY SOS since 1999, said doing these sort of builds for Children in Need was ‘huge’, as across the country there are more than 600,000 young people who are supported by the charity.
He added: “There are a huge number of projects across Lancashire looking after young people as well, that Children in Need supports, and Children in Need will continue to support Nightsafe so that they can continue to do the amazing work that they do.
“We have this problem in this country where there’s over 100,000 young people in this situation and we’re not doing enough.
“We can’t feature these people in our programme but we still think we should be building for them because otherwise it becomes a hidden thing and it’s not right that our most vulnerable youngsters end up in difficulty again.
“This charity will make a massive difference here.
“And in the process of doing this we are saying to all those young people, we care, you do matter to us and we can make a difference.”
The Big Build in Blackburn will run until Thursday September 12, but show organisers and the team of DIY experts are still looking for people to offer their skills to enable to project to be finished on time.