This week 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.
In April 2016, whilst holidaying in Cyprus, with his partner Ella and daughters Iris (3) & Olivia (8), Ben slipped and fell head first into the shallow end of a pool, tragically breaking his neck in three places. After months of treatment in both Cyprus and Germany (Ben was resuscitated for hours on an airport runway) he was finally flown back to the UK, where the Salisbury Spinal Unit made amazing progress with him over the next 12 months.
Despite his life-changing injuries there is hope: If Ben could return home he would be reunited with his family and could even work from home again as a project manager.
But for this dream to become a reality, his home needs to be adapted with a front access and a two-story extension with through-floor lift, along with all the bespoke care provision that Ben will need, including a home-office space.
Avening is a special place. The local community here donated their time and money as well as carving out the steep stone hillside for one of the two extensions and laying a concrete ramp from the road to the front door, before funds ran out.
Now the DIY SOS team are joining forces with this generous community to get the build finished, to include an impressive 3 metre bespoke bridge linking the new house to the earth shattering landscaping, so that Ben may be re-united with his family.
As part of this large-scale home adaptation project, anthracite grey aluminium bi-folding doors from REAL Aluminium were installed to give much needed access to the family home.
The show will be aired on BBC1 on Wednesday 3rd October 2018 at 8pm, so make sure you tune in, and if you’re interested in aluminium windows and doors for your come, find your nearest REAL installer here.