When the BBC DIY SOS team asked for assistance with a project not 10 miles from our headquarters, we immediately jumped at the chance to help out.
The DIY SOS team, fronted by Nick Knowles, aim to help people going through real hardship, by renovating their homes. The family we were set to help had certainly suffered more than their fair share of heartbreak.
Consisting of Jason, Liz and daughters Lilly (3) and Poppy (2), the Liversidge family were a typical, everyday family until Jason received the devastating news that he had Motor Neurone Disease. If this weren't bad enough, in 2012 Jason had already discovered that he had Fabry's disease, whilst Liz was pregnant with Poppy - a rare genetic disorder which both girls may have inherited.
Motor neurone disease sufferers are only given a life expectancy of between 3 - 6 years from diagnosis, so the focus now switched to creating happy memories for the family and ensuring their home was set up to achieve this.
A challenging bathroom
My colleague Andy & I were invited down to visit the family home, which stood on a country lane in the middle of the flat, featureless Holderness Plain just to the North of Hull. We met up with the DIY SOS Team, including the designers and production team, to talk about the project and find out how we could help.
We were shown the current bathroom, which, whilst adequate for the family's needs, certainly needed modernising. The main challenge would be the small size of the bathroom. It really was extremely small for a family bathroom and the renovation work on the house wouldn't see an extension to this particular room.
Looking at the space, we decided that a Verso Bathroom Suite, including 550mm pedestal basin and close coupled toilet, would suit best. We also added one of our Square Heated Towel Rails so that the family would keep nice and warm during the winter months.
In the end, we supplied the following products:
- Wye basin & bath mixer tap pack
- Wye thermostatic square shower system
- Wye 1200 x 490 heated towel rail
- 6mm straight shower bath screen with rail
One snag we hit upon was that the existing bath was shorter than any we actually supplied. But as this was a very special case, we called upon one of our bath suppliers to tailor-produce a model that would be short enough to fit the space.
The products were duly delivered and that was the end of our involvement in the project. It was now up to our friends at JDP Plumbing to work round the clock and get the bathroom installed in time for the reveal.
The final reveal took place on Thursday 27th November 2014 and we were invited to be present as the family saw their newly renovated home for the very first time. The sheer joy on their faces was an absolute pleasure to witness and just to realise what a difference it was going to make made the whole project worthwhile. There certainly wasn't a dry eye in the house.
Andy and I had our photo taken with the DIY SOS Team and left the family to take in their new surroundings and finally feel at home again.
We wish the Liversidge family happiness in their refurbished home and we were glad to be a small part of helping to make that happen.