A team of volunteer builders from across the UK are set to travel to Stoke-on-Trent to repair the home of 93-year-old former bricklayer, Tom Knapper.
Tom was recently diagnosed with cancer of the liver, has had two heart attacks and suffers from arthritis. As a result, he is no longer able to maintain the bungalow he built himself in 1970 for his late wife June and their three children.
Tom’s son Adrian put out a cry for help to Band of Builders – a registered charity that completes practical projects to help members of the UK construction industry who are battling illness or injury. The charity is supported by major names within the construction industry, including DeWalt, Jewson, Talasey and Gibbs & Dandy. This will be the 21st project to date for the charity, which has more than 10,000 supporters from across the construction industry.
The charity is mobilising a team of tradespeople to carry out the work over the weekend of December 11 and 12. The team will be making a series of repairs and improvements to the family home which includes upgrading his central heating system and plumbing in the bathroom, putting new steps outside the front door, fixing the garage roof, and changing the guttering.
Adrian said: “My father’s house is his pride and joy because he built it for his family. Despite his willingness to do it, the essential repairs needed are now beyond him and he needs help, especially as he is not in the best of health,”
“The thing he’s looking forward to the most is chatting with the team of tradespeople – because he has really missed the camaraderie on a building site since he retired.”
Band of Builders operations director, Tony Steel, said: “This is a heart-warming story of a man who has spent his 50-year career building thousands of homes for other families across Stoke-on-Trent and beyond – and it’s a great opportunity for our generation to help Tom to stay safe, warm and secure in the house he built.
“Tom’s project exemplifies the work of the Band of Builders community in completing practical projects to support members of the UK construction industry who are battling illness or injury. We have amazing backing from the industry, but every little bit helps, so if anyone wants to help in any way, we always welcome support – whether it’s financial, materials or anything else.”