Actis helps family featured on BBC’s DIY SOS: The Big Build

Published:  20 April, 2018

A family affected by leukaemia and cerebral palsy, whose specially adapted home is to be featured on a BBC extreme home improvement show later this year, has been given a helping hand by insulation experts Actis.

Tara and Chris Morfey from Devon – two of whose sons have cerebral palsy – gave up on their dream of creating a home designed to help them manage their medical challenges when their daughter was diagnosed with leukaemia last year.

But thanks to the BBC’s popular DIY SOS: The Big Build, community effort and generous donations by suppliers in the building trade the family will be able to live comfortably together after all.

Actis stepped in to donate nearly 100 sq m of reflective insulation products including its honeycomb style insulation Hybris when distributor SIG, which was also helping with the project, put out an emergency call for the energy efficient, easily portable and flexible reflective insulation.

Other donors included members of the local community in Yealmpton near Plymouth who offered help ranging from decorating and landscape gardening to coffee making for the labourers.

Actis South West are Sales Manager John Buckley said: “When SIG Distribution contacted us to explain about the TV programme and the dilemma in which the Morfey family found themselves we really wanted to help out. Last year we helped a family with a severely autistic boy insulate a special sensory room in their home for him. It’s rewarding to be able to put something back into the community.”

The Hybris - much prized by builders for the speed and ease of its installation and the fact that it creates no mess or dust - was installed in the roof by SMW Roofing from Totnes.

Mum Tara Morfey told DIY SOS presenter Nick Knowles how her husband Chris had to abandon his plan to build their home when they received the medical bombshell about their daughter Yasmine.

“It was to be our forever home that would work for everybody that everyone can access every part of the house,” she said.

Nick Knowles added: “it was a derelict forge. It was a goat shed but you wouldn’t have put any goats in it. It was in such a terrible state. So it was a race against time to finish the family’s dream home.”

One of the volunteers, landscape gardener Wayne Rogers, was moved to help out when he heard of the family’s plight.

“My daughter Megan had cerebral palsy. She was born brain damaged and unfortunately, she passed away eight years ago. So I know from first hand experience just how hard it is dealing with a child with special medical needs.”

Nick added: “I always think these things are a bit like the Amish raising a barn. When somebody in the village got into difficulty the village would rally round and help them and essentially that’s all we’re doing - we’re bringing that back into the 21st century

Chris Morfey said: “Wherever you look in this house you can see that someone’s had a bit of love. They’ve not just thrown it up. Everything’s been done with a bit of special love I think.”

DIY SOS: The Big Build -, - launched in 1999, takes on ambitious projects which are completed in nine days often with 60 trades on site at once.

Now on its 29th series the programme involves making major improvements to people’s homes to help transform the way they live in the face of difficult personal challenges.

Other recent projects include extending a tiny house to enable two bereaved children to live with their grandmother, and adapting a home for a policeman horrifically injured in the Westminster Bridge terrorist attack.

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