Band of Builders goal was to help complete works started by Steve to allow Elaine and the family to enjoy the home that Steve dreamed of creating.
After purchasing 2 adjoining properties in 2005, Steve, a plumbing and central heating engineer from London, began the mammoth task of transforming these into the forever family home for himself, Elaine and their 4 boys, Callum, Lucas, Ethan and Fife. Sadly, after being diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer in 2017, Steve passed away in December 2018, aged 59 before the renovation was complete.
Steve and Elaine have had a lot to contend with leading up to Steve's ill health as their eldest son, Fife was diagnosed with Leukaemia in 2007 which halted all works on the renovation due to a fungus called aspergillus. Fife's treatment lasted 3 and a half years along with numerous other medical conditions which hindered his recovery until 2011 when he completed his treatment.
In between times, Steve's mum sadly passed away only 1 month after Fife had been diagnosed with Leukaemia, Steve also lost his sister just 1 month later at the mere age of 47 in 2009.
If the family hadn't already been through enough, further turmoil fell on Elaine and Steve when Elaine suffered a miscarriage in 2011 shortly followed by her mother being diagnoses with cancer in 2012 who also sadly passed away a year.
Despite everything that was going on, Steve continued with sheer determination to complete the home renovation, however his own health began to deteriorate after he was diagnosed in 2014 with Diabetes which resulted in work slowing on the home. After months of illness, Steve received the devastating news that he had stage 4 colorectal cancer, metastasis in his liver and lungs. Steve received a prognosis of 18 months to 2 years, however it unfortunately spread to his bones and he passed away on 20th December 2018.
Volunteers travelled from all corners of the UK and spent at total of nine days 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 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.”