Terminally ill father-of-three hails kindness of Band of Builders

A father of three diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour has spoken of his gratitude to a group of tradesmen who united to build him and his family a brand new summer house.

Dan McIntosh, 30, was told earlier this year that he has between 18 months and two years to live – a diagnosis that came at the same time wife Stephanie discovered she was pregnant with their third child.

Moved by his story the Band of Builders – an organisation set up by tradespeople to help members of the construction trade and their families in times of hardship – decided to renovate the garden at Dan’s home in Aveley, Essex. They fitted a bespoke timber summer house where he can play with his children and landscaped the garden to make it more accessible.

Around 50 tradespeople from across the country spent just over a week on the project, which was revealed to Dan and his family in an emotional gathering on Sunday (November 5).

Dan said: “I was absolutely speechless. For complete strangers to give up their time and travel across the country to do something like this is absolutely overwhelming.

We’ve been amazed by the support we’ve received, not only from our own local community but from the community within Band of Builders. It’s just amazing.”

Dan and his family are hoping the project will also raise awareness of the importance of seeking medical advice as soon as you’re worried about a change in your body. Dan waited three months before going to a doctor and wants to make sure anyone in a similar position seeks help as soon as possible.

The project at Dan’s home was funded by a £50,000 award from builders’ merchant Jewson, awarded to Band of Builders founder Addam Smith when he won the Trade Hero award at the Jewson Building Better Communities competition.

Band of Builders was formed as part of Addam’s efforts to help friend and colleague Keith Ellick who was diagnosed with terminal cancer in late 2015, with tradespeople from across the UK helping with a DIY SOS-style renovation of Keith’s home.

Keith sadly died in March this year but Band of Builders continues as his legacy and is in the process of becoming a registered charity.

Addam said: “This is what Band of Builders was set up to do – to help tradesmen like Dan when they hit tough times in the best way we know how, by doing something practical, and it’s great to see Dan and his family have a place to make precious memories.

It never fails to amaze me how many people we get – most who run their own businesses or are self-employed – who are willing to give up their time and money to help others. It’s a testament to the community we’ve created with Band of Builders.

We’re already planning our next project which, thanks to the money from Jewson, we can get cracking with in the near future.”