Band of Builders, the charity that helps UK tradespeople in their hour of need, has helped the family of a plumber who lost his battle with cancer by finishing the home renovation he never could.
Steve Dunphy had started work on his home in Lennoxtown, Glasgow, but was diagnosed with cancer in 2017, aged 59. He died in December 2018, leaving behind wife Elaine and the couple’s four children
But nine months later, what Steve started has finally been finished 50 volunteer tradespeople from Band of Builders, the national charity that carries out projects and adaptations to help tradespeople and their families, travelled to Scotland to help the family.
The volunteers spent a week carrying out work to the kitchen, lounge, bathrooms, four bedrooms, staircases and communal spaces, revealing the finished home to Elaine in an emotional handover on Sunday (September 29).
“After such a difficult time, having Band of Builders do this has been a ray of sunshine,” said 51-year-old Elaine. “Of course it’s bittersweet that Steve could never finish what he started, but this group of people arrived in Lennoxtown as strangers and are leaving as lifelong friends.
“We’ve just been absolutely blown away that they would do this for us for absolutely nothing – and also how much they’ve been helped by companies, businesses and people in the local area. It’s had a huge effect on me and the children and I know it’s also touched other people who have seen what they’ve done.”
The project was helped by construction companies across the UK, who supplied around £10,000 worth of materials free of charge, including Blue Circle Cement which sponsored the project, donating £5,000. The local community in Lennoxtown also pitched in, providing food and drink for the volunteers during the project.
Richard Patchesa, trustee at Band of Builders, was among the volunteers on the project. He said: “It’s been an absolute honour to help Elaine and her family and finish the work that Steve started but could sadly never finish.
“The support for this project has been unprecedented, from materials donated by big companies across the UK to gestures from the local community like feeding the volunteers, tooting car horns and stopping for a chat. Every time we do this we’re blown away by the reaction it creates and it spurs us on to do more to help more people like Elaine and her family.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
ABOUT BAND OF BUILDERS
Band of Builders was formed in 2016 after landscaper Addam Smith asked for help to renovate the garden of his friend and employee Keith Ellick, who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Keith lost his battle with cancer in 2017 but Band of Builders continued with the aim of helping other members of the UK construction industry battling illness or injury. Band of Builders was declared a registered charity (Charity Number 1182283) on March 1, 2019.
Previous projects have included:
- Installing a specialised bathroom for Pippa Atkinson, an electrician’s daughter suffering from a rare skin condition
- Landscaping a garden for builder Jamie Thompson, who is suffering from Motor Neurone Disease, so he can safely watch his children play, as well as installing a new kitchen.
- Creating a bedroom for plasterer’s daughter Sadie Jenkins, who had spent the first half of her life in hospital and needed machines to breathe, as well as installing a downstairs bathroom for her carers.
- Installing a summer-house and landscaping the garden for carpenter Dan McIntosh, who was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour, so he could spend precious time with his family.
For more information on how to become a member or how to apply for help from Band of Builders, visit www.bandofbuilders.org