National construction charity Band of Builders and its community of volunteers and supporters has delivered a milestone £1m worth of projects to help tradespeople battling illness or injury, making a life-changing difference to them and their families.
The organisation, affectionately known as BoB to its near 50,000-strong community of volunteers and supporters, was founded in 2016 and has just completed its 27th project.
The latest project takes the equivalent cost of labour and materials in total to over £1m – with the estimated delivery value of an average project at more than £37,200.
Reaching the £1m milestone has involved 772 volunteers giving up their time for free on projects that took a total of 203 days and involved 18,087 hours of labour. Materials and support are provided by organisations and businesses across the sector who support the charity on individual projects or through ongoing partnerships.
BoB’s projects, which include renovations, adaptations or repairs to the homes of tradespeople affected by illness or injury, range in scale. The biggest to date was a complete reconfiguration of the ground floor of the home of plasterer Mark’s partner Cher Little in North Wales, who was left relying on a wheelchair after having her legs amputated. More than 75 volunteers answered the call for help over a 31-day period, with a delivery value of more than £102,000.
The smallest involved six volunteers in a two-day project over a weekend in Stoke-on-Trent just before Christmas 2021 to fix the leaking roof of the bungalow that 93-year-old former brickie Tom Knapper built in the 1970s for his family. This project had a delivery value of £2,250.
The project that saw BoB pass the £1m delivery value landmark was for Martin Wilks from Herefordshire, who was left paralysed from the chest down after falling off a stepladder in June 2018 and hitting his head on a concrete planter, causing a severe traumatic brain injury. This was the second in three project phases to help level flooring on the ground floor of the family’s home, as well as to widen doorways to make it easier for Martin to move around in his wheelchair.
Reflecting on the landmark total, the charity’s CEO Gavin Crane paid tribute to all the volunteers who have given up their time to help fellow members of the UK construction industry, their families and their dependents.
“It’s a very proud moment for everyone connected to Band of Builders to have reached such a significant milestone in the history of a charity that only started six years ago,” said Gavin.
“Through the kindness and generosity of our community, who keep volunteering their time to work on projects, we have helped make a life-changing difference to 27 beneficiaries and their families across the UK.”
Gavin also paid tribute to the wider construction industry for its support and praised the generosity of companies such as builders’ merchants, which often supply materials free of charge.
He added: “It’s also important that we say thank you to all the businesses that continue to support the charity with the supply of materials free of charge, plant hire and anything else that we need for projects – such as portable toilets for each site.
“And then there are the unsung heroes of each project, such as local businesses that generously feed our volunteers and even give them free or much-reduced rates on accommodation.”