A plumber who was left unable to walk after falling from a ladder has become the latest person to get help from Band of Builders as the organisation completed its first project as a registered charity.
Peter Cape, from Pen-Y-Garnedd, Wales, found himself wheelchair-bound after suffering serious injuries in December 2018. The 46-year-old is a longstanding supporter of Band of Builders, the charity that helps UK tradesmen and women in their hour of need, but found himself needing the organisation’s assistance after suffering severe fractures to both heels and one of his feet when he fell from a single-storey roof in December 2018.
Since then Peter has been wheelchair-bound and limited to three rooms in his home. He has been sleeping in the lounge and was unable to get to the bathroom, forced to rely on family members to wash him and help with basic tasks. With surgeons unable to predict how long it will take Peter to recover, if at all, Band of Builders stepped in to make alterations and adaptations to the plumber’s home to make life easier for him and his family.
On April 19, 40 tradesmen and women from across the country traveled to Wales to carry out work including widening doorways so his wheelchair can fit through, removing a wall to allow access, installing a new kitchen, installing a bathroom that Pete had supplied and fitting a new path, patio and concrete hard standing that Pete can access with assistance. While the work was being carried out, Pete and his family stayed at a nearby hotel until the changes were revealed to them in an emotional handover on April 27.
Peter said: “I’ve been on other BoB projects myself and seen amazing things but I had no idea how it would feel to be on the receiving end of something like this. It’s been amazing. Not just the help from BoB but the support they had from the local community, from people delivering ice creams to pubs feeding the guys and girls.
“People I don’t even know saw something good happening and wanted to get involved, and that’s part of the beauty of Band of Builders.”
He said the changes to his home might appear small but would make a huge difference.
“For five months I’ve been stuck in three rooms. On Sunday for the first time since the accident I could get myself to the bathroom, then go and put the kettle on, make breakfast for everyone and feel like a husband and a dad again instead of a patient.
“They seem like small things but they’re massive and have fundamentally changed things for us for the better. I can’t thank everyone enough.”
The project is the first carried out by Band of Builders since it became a registered charity earlier in 2019.
Chairman Richard Patchesa said: “Every project that Band of Builders completes has a special place in the hearts of those who volunteer, the beneficiaries receiving much-needed help, and our supporters who made it all happen, and Peter’s project is no different.
“The changes that we’ve made will help make Peter’s life much easier and make a real difference to him and his family. The fact that Peter has helped so many others through his work with BoB, and that this was our first project since becoming a registered charity, are both the icing on the cake.
“We’d like to give a big thanks to everyone who helped us, especially members of the local community. Without you and without our supporters and volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
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2. 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.