Kind builders help make a home more accessible

Published:  03 September, 2018

Charitable tradespeople have united to make an ex-builder with Motor Neurone Disease’s home and garden more wheelchair accessible.

Jamie Thompson (pictured with his partner Sara and their child) was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2014, aged 45, and told he had just three years to live.

The 49-year-old has already surpassed doctors’ expectations, but now uses a wheelchair and has limited use of his hands.

This means he is confined to areas with wheelchair access, so he cannot use the garden at his home in Worcestershire to spend time with his three young children.

Band of Builders, a charitable organisation that carries out projects and adaptations to help tradespeople and their families, teamed up with the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity, which offers financial and mental wellbeing assistance to construction workers, to give Thompson access to all of his garden.

They were supported by Jewson, which donated building materials that were won by Band of Builders’ founder Addam Smith in its 2017 Building Better Communities competition.

At least 40 volunteer tradespeople gathered at Thompson’s home on 25 August to help with jobs including landscaping the garden, adding a new French door and an extended decking area, removing the kitchen and replacing it with a bigger one, and all ancillary works.

Bill Hill, CEO of the Lighthouse Club Charity, said: “As well as supporting Jamie with his daily household costs, we are delighted to be able to fund part of the Band of Builders project to help improve Jamie’s and his family’s life even more.

“By working together with other organisations, we can make sure that our construction families in need get all the possible support available to them.”

Thompson’s partner Sarah Townsend said: “We can't begin to express our sheer excitement and gratitude.

“Whilst this horrible illness is going nowhere, we as a family now have something to look forward to and enjoy together long term, which will make Jamie's time left with us all much happier.”

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