We’ve had to keep it under our hats until now, but we’re honoured to be part of DIY SOS: the Big Build on Veteran Street tonight on BBC1. If you’ve not seen it, the winning team of Nick Knowles, Billy the Spark, Chris and Jules and Irish charmer Mark recruit friends, family and local trades to help transform the homes of families across Britain.
This week, they are back on veteran street in Manchester to build the final home on the road for a decorated former soldier and his young family.
Two years ago, with the help of Prince William and Prince Harry, DIY SOS launched their most ambitious project yet – transforming a derelict street into a vibrant community for veterans and local people, creating new homes and a veterans’ support centre.
Now, with the project almost complete, Nick Knowles and the team return to build the last remaining home for amputee and single dad Simon Flores, whose foot was blown off by a roadside bomb during a patrol in Iraq.
At Any Old Lights we were delighted to be a small part of this amazing story, and donated one of our vintage ships pendants lights to the project.
There’s no question that life after the Forces can be challenging. Significant number of veterans find themselves on the streets and reports suggest up to 9,000 British servicemen and women are homeless after leaving the military. Shockingly, ex-service personnel account for one in 10 rough sleepers in the UK.
For some, service life can put a strain on relationships leading to divorce. Mental health problems, sometimes relating to military service such as PTSD, can also increase the risk of homelessness with sufferers facing addiction and unemployment.
If you’re a homeowner, or know of a homeowner, who’s had a change in circumstances that means you now require major building work to your property, then DIY SOS be able to help.
They are not looking for projects that only involve painting and decorating a few rooms. In previous episodes they’ve built single and even double-storey extensions, installed wet rooms, stair lifts and completely renovated and redesigned homes from the garden to the loft. Be part of it here.