Tag: Hero Project

The 2013 Hero Project has been up and running for 2½ weeks and so far 338 tradesmen have pledged their support. This really shows how generous MyBuilder tradesmen are, and how they can make such a difference to people’s lives.

80 hero jobs have been posted so far, and entries will continue to be open until midnight on Sunday, December 15th. All homeowners have to do is post their story with a picture, explaining what they want done and why they deserve a hero like you.

Brooke Cornwell’s story and video

In the course of this year’s project we have come across lots of touching stories, which make us glad that we started the Hero Project and proud of our tradesmen – but there is one particular story that we want to share because this family have been through so much.

hero-job-christine-castle

Eight years ago Amber’s daughter, Brooke, was born with a potentially fatal form of anaemia. Every day has been a battle to keep her alive and give her a normal life.

Brooke has a sister, Felicity. Managing two children can be hard enough but when one is sick, it is even tougher. Her Mum and Dad, Amber and Nick, have had to work all hours to keep the family going. Often Amber would do a night shift at a bakery, sleep for a couple of hours and then get up to take Brooke for one of her regular blood transfusions.

Recently the family suffered a huge blow. Doctors told them that Brooke needed a bone marrow transplant as soon as possible, so in January she goes into hospital for the complicated and, at times, unpleasant treatment. Before she can come home, the house has to be stripped – carpets and all – and sterilised to avoid risk of infection. Brooke’s much loved dog, Rosebud, will have to go to live with Grandma.

Sorting the house little by little

When you are as stretched as the Cornwell family, the first thing to go is the house. It’s something we see all the time on MyBuilder. You don’t have the time or the energy for repairs or renovations when you are coping with financial or emotional upheavals – but sorting the house will be a matter of life and death for Brooke so it will have to be done.

Luckily Grandma Christine is a practical and positive sort. She believes in breaking problems down into small pieces that can solved bit by bit. Amber’s power shower hadn’t worked for ages so when she spotted the Hero project on our site, she took the initiative and posted a job. A few days later, plumber James of Rothwell James turned up on Amber’s doorstep, ready to help. He donated two days to the family and for the first time in 2½ years Brooke can take a shower.

A MyBuilder Santa, yesterday.As the counter ticks away on our 2013 Hero Project site and the number of volunteers goes up, it confirms something we’ve always known: that tradesmen really do make the best Santas.

 

The world is divided into those that make and those that don’t – and the makers have the edge in the ‘giving’ market. How much better is it to get a present that’s been homemade and to a high standard? It costs less, it’s bespoke and it’s often far better quality than anything you could buy off the shelf.

My Dad carved me a pair of mahogany stilts when was I eight and while other presents came and went – even the stilts themselves have been long-lost – that present has stuck in my memory. Beautiful, practical and made with enormous amount of thought, love and care.

So that’s where our tradesmen have the edge. They have a skill they can share to make other people happy and their lives a bit better. How many of us can drive around any town or city in the UK and point out what we have done for the people living there? Builders can.

I’m not denigrating charity fun runs or fundraising at local fêtes as acts of charity. They have their place – but when a tradesman wants to help someone out, well, all he or she has to do is pick up his or her tools and go. No organising committee. No months of preparation. Just a lifetime’s learned skills, a good deal of nous and a person in need.
a row of Christmassy housesThere’s something else that makes the tradesman special and that’s the fact that his workspace is right in the centre of your life: he or she doesn’t just magically pop in and out like Santa down the chimney. The tradesman is there, in amongst the mess and muddle of family life, by your ‘hearth’. When your teenage daughter throws a hissy fit, or your husband is berating you over lost car keys, the tradesman won’t show it but he’ll have heard it – and he’s the soul of discretion. But when we asked if MyBuilder tradesmen could help out needy homeowners, the answer was loud and clear. This year’s Hero Project only went live at at 6pm yesterday and in less than 24 hours we’ve arranged over £4,000 worth of building work that will go a long way to making things better for people struggling this Christmas. So if you know someone in need or you’re a big-hearted tradesman who wants to volunteer, join the 2013 Hero Project now and help show everyone what we already know here – that tradesmen really are the best kind of Santa!

It started out with our offer to help a homeowner in need by paying for a small project as a Christmas gift. We got so many moving requests from homeowners in our initial blog post, that we decided to go beyond a single project and try to find a way to help more people.

So we asked our tradesmen if they wanted to help and got an amazing response. We decided to call this the ‘Hero Project’ and offered to pay the materials cost for every project that had a tradesman hero volunteering.

We’re now coming to the end of the Hero Project, with several of them wrapped up. We thought we’d share a few of the completed jobs with you.

Emma Hazlett and her mum

MyBuilder Hero Project

Emma Hazlett’s mum’s bedroom before the work

 

“My mum is a wonderful person, and has worked hard and been a great mother all her life. She suffers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (similar to M.E.) and depression and bi-polar, especially after losing her husband (and dad to me and my sister). Since then she has struggled with illness as a widow, living on an extremely low income, she can’t work any more and spends a lot of time on her own since me and my sister have grown up and moved out, and has now developed ‘frozen shoulder’ which means she is not only in a lot of pain but she also can’t drive, which isolates her even more.

Her house is tiny and my dad pretty much built the inside himself before he died but it’s falling apart and for years she has lived in the tiny box room which just about fits a bed in it, while mine and my sister’s old room has been filled with stuff that we have just managed to clear. Our plan is for mum to move into the bigger room and try and make her surroundings better for her, but the room’s walls need a tradesman – they are peeling chip board and dreadful children’s nursery colours, it’s a depressing sight, and I wish for someone to help give the walls a make over and a lick of paint, to give mum a happier place to live. I wish, for Christmas, I could fix the bigger problems, but I’m afraid I can’t, and for now this would be an amazing step towards helping her be happier.”

MyBuilder Hero Project Jan 2013

The same bedroom after Homecraft UK completed the project


After the transformation, Emma expressed her thanks: “
Homecraft UK offered to do a ‘Hero’ job for me and my mum and I couldn’t believe their kindness. John Black sent his team round and in one day they transformed the bedroom and did a great decorating job in rather difficult circumstances. The guys were so polite and nice, too! It was an incredibly quick response and turnaround, and we are very grateful.”

John Black from Homecraft UK said “I would consider helping others and yes, the job was a little harder than first expected but that’s life. One day every now & then it should not be hard to help anyone in need. Who knows, I might need help one day.”

Harriet Shepherd

“I am Harriet, Mum to baby Poppy, 7 months, and George, 3, and wife to Steven. We recently moved house and have lots of home improvements to do but the one that is the most pressing is we have no kitchen! We have managed to buy a kitchen online but have run out of money to pay someone to fit it. Steven has put together the units and had some help to hang a couple of cupboards but that is as far as it goes. I have a camping stove to cook and that is it, we don’t even have a microwave! Washing dishes in the bathroom is getting very tiresome and I am really struggling to cook nutritious meals for the children and us. The thought of Christmas with no kitchen is too much to bear, to have the kitchen put in for us would be the best present I think I could ever receive, in my whole life! Steven and I both work really hard, me from home, but struggle with all the debt and bills of modern life, this really would be a dream come true!”

After the kitchen was completed, Harriet said “I am so pleased to say, I have a kitchen!! Thank you so much to MyBuilder for organizing the whole thing it really has been a god send. Paul and his team were lovely and did the job in no time at all! Many thanks again for making our Christmas.”

MyBuilder Hero Project Jan 2013 Feature

Harriet and George with KitchensFit4U

 

Paul from KitchensFit4u who undertook the work added “As a family man I understand how difficult the Christmas period can be, and how important a kitchen is for preparing those festive feasts. My team and I decided we would love to take this opportunity to make this special time of year a little easier for someone using our knowledge and skills. It made sense to do the two things that we are passionate about which are our workmanship and our ability to help out where possible at once. As KitchensFit4U grow, we hope to be able to do more for people who need a helping hand. Fortunately the job went very smoothly, due to the hard work and Steve (Harriets husband) had put in, trying to provide his family with a kitchen in the home they have only recently moved in to. Minor mistakes were easily rectified with our professional experience and the kitchen was completed and fully functioning.”

Trudi Borsberry

“Hello I am a single mum on a serious budget and I have a hole in my bedroom ceiling where water is coming in through the roof. I simply do not have any money to fix it – and I know it will only get worse and worse. My daughter was unwell the other day and lay in the bed with me and the water starting to drip through. I also have a front fence which is down and the neighbours and understandably unhappy. I know there are people with worse things, but I thought it was worth a try. Thank you for listening.”

Trudi wrote to us after the work was finished: “Neil and Joseph were totally fantastic. Friendly, efficient and genuinely nice chaps. They have helped me so much and went above and beyond to repair a hole in my roof and a broken fence. Without their help I would still be putting towels under the hole when it rained! I would recommend NW Building without hesitation. The Hero scheme is wonderful and I cannot thank you all enough. I cannot explain what a difference their work has made to myself and my young daughter. As I write, it is raining and windy. Before the work my fence would have blown down and the rain would have been coming through the roof and through the hole in my ceiling and now I can finally relax. The gentlemen from NW Building were fantastic and I can never ever express my gratitude in my circumstance I could never have got these jobs done. Thank you again.”

We’re giving away a tradesman for a day to a homeowner in need.
Spread the word so we can help brighten up someone’s Christmas!

It’s the time of year that we start thinking about our families and cosy evenings by the fire. But Christmas is also the time of giving, and thinking of others less fortunate than ourselves. We want to take what we do best and turn that into a Christmas gift.

We know there are a lot of people out there that need a tradesman to help get their homes in a better state for the festive season. We help homeowners find reliable tradesmen day in day out. But there are also people out there that need a tradesman and can’t afford one. We want to hear from those people, and we want to give our gift to the most deserving.

Do you need a helping hand this Christmas?

How to enter: Leave a comment below telling us your story.

The winner gets their project paid for by MyBuilder (£300 max value). Entries will close on the 12th of December 2012. For more details, see the Terms and Conditions.


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