The Big Build – DIY SOS Avening, Cotswolds

The Big Build – DIY SOS Avening.
This week, Wednesday BBC1 8pm (03/10/2018), Nick Knowles’s DIY SOS team, the flamboyant designer Laurence Llewelyn Bowen and volunteers pitch up in Avening, in the idyllic Cotswolds, to help project manager Ben, whose life was changed in a split second by a freak accident on holiday.
CCE Surfacing installed Resin Bound Surfacing on the ramp and pathway using Silver Grey Granite stone.

The BBC DIY SOS team filmed an episode at Ben Wernham’s house in Avening last summer, which saw the community come together to support Ben and his family following a tragic accident.

Ben Wernham, 33, was left paralysed from the neck down in a swimming pool accident while on family holiday in Cyprus in 2016.

Following the incident the community quickly rallied around Ben, his partner Ella, step-daughter Olivia and daughter Iris to raise funds.

The Best for Ben committee was formed in August-September of 2016, all of the 12-15 members have close ties to the family, the group and has since raised more than £100,000 for the family.

Speaking to the SNJ at the time of filming, Emily Murray, who went to school with Ella, described the television team’s involvement as a pivotal point in the project to help Ben.

“This is a game changer for Ella and Ben, this project would have taken us years without the help of DIY SOS,” Emily said.

“We’re totally overwhelmed by the community’s involvement, Stroud Rotary Club, all the local tradesmen who offered their services and all the business who have offered food and drinks.

“We got to the stage where we could put a call out on social media and within an hour we would have what we asked for, whether that was more water or a plumber.

“It’s all been very humbling, there’s a real community spirit, everyone has rallied around and pitched in to help out in any way they can.

“We’ve achieved more than we imagined was possible in just over a year, and DIY SOS has been nothing short of a dream come true and a significant fast forward button on what we set out to achieve.”

The BBC listing for the upcoming programme describes Avening as ‘a special place’.

“The local community here have donated their time and money to carve out the steep stone hillside for one of the two extensions and lay a concrete ramp from the road to the front door, but funds have run out,” the listing says.

“Now the DIY SOS team are joining forces with this generous community to get the build finished.”

The reveal of the finished project was filmed over a year ago on Thursday (June 22, 2017) and just some of the companies that were involved included: Smiths of Gloucester donated a skip, Jonathan Randall Kitchens installed the new kitchen, Cirencester Civil Engineering installed Resin Bound Surfacing, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and K ‘n’ G Convenience donated huge amounts of food and water, and Stroud Rotary Club made teas and coffees.

More than 100 people arrived on the site to help although soaring temperatures over the weekend meant that the mercury reached a high of 43.7 degrees in the loft.

DIY SOS The Big Build – Avening will be broadcast on BBC One at 8pm on Wednesday, October 3.

 


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