Need a helping hand this Christmas?


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.

45 Comments

  1. Hello there
    I am writing on behalf of my sister-in-law, Laurie, whom I am helping out at the moment. She lost her mother last year, the one person who was supporting her financially more than anybody - my brother-in-law being very ill. He passed away a couple of months ago, leaving Laurie with three children, the last one of which is autistic. Laurie works full-time, has been left with lots of debts by my ill brother-in-law, and the house is a state of total disrepair. The bathroom is falling apart and leaking onto the dining room ceiling, which is cracked. The bedrooms have mould from condensation, drawers are broken and all taps in the house leak. She has tiny savings tucked away which she will use for a new bathroom in the new year, because it smells of urine and it has got to be done. She could do with some help to fix the mould and decorate her bedroom though, and perhaps even replace the terrible carpet with laminate in that room, so that she can have some better sleep. It would be really great if you could help her out!!
    Thank you
    Flavia

  2. As a poor pensioner I would love the help of a builder for a day..I have so many urgent jobs but one particular is my barge at the eaves of my house it needs renailing to ensure no further damage..I would be ore the moon to have this done.

  3. Hello I am a single mum on a serious budget I have a hole in my bedroom ceiling and water is coming in thu the roof. I simply do not have any money to fit 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 undersandably unhappy. I know there are people with worse things, but I thought it was worth a try.

    Thank you for listening.

    TRUDI

  4. Hi i wood love to beable to help my mum out around her house cause she dose not have the money or time to do it her self and she will not sell it. Because my little boy died in her garden when playing foot ball and the wall fell down on him . So it wood be a xmas to remeber if we was able to. Help her get some off it done becuase we could done with some good news and some think good to happen we all have a very bad time in the last 6 year since my son died bad stuff just keep happering

  5. Myself and my finacee have moved into a house in Southend and it has water damage but our landlord is being stubborn and penny pinching and will not fix it and so our house it getting worse and damp and mould is a big problem now. A damp proofing expert has been round and advised that there is a water leak (96% moisture in the bathroom walls and kitchen walls and in the cupboard under the stairs which houses the electricity meter and fuse boxes!). My fiancee is now suffering from stress because of all of this. Please help!?!?!?!?

  6. 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!

  7. I am a lone parent with a school age son struggling to pay energy bills as my house has windows with seals gone, half built porch door, and gaps in main door. I am probably heating the whole street! I have key meters fitted by British Gas as I cannot keep up with their costs and have lost my car too. It would be very nice to get some help to finish the street door, I have built the frame and have bought a new lock for it, and have the wood to hand.

  8. I need a chimney taking down to stop damp coming into the second bedroom. I have suffered a detached retina for the past 6 months with four operations to try to restore sight. At present it is still not sorted. I have had to stop work and have now got in arrears with mortgage payments and am likely to have to sell the property. In order to obtain the best price the problem of the leaking chimney stack will be one of the jobs to require attention.

  9. About 5 years ago we had a leak From the dormer window flat roof into our bedroom. We had it repaired by what I thought was a reputable builder. This included boarding and plastering the bedroom ceiling.

    Following heavy rainfall earlier this year we discovered a leak in the same place and this time another recommended builder investigated the problem. It seems the original work was a bit of a bodged job, with the roof felt not properly fitted under the roof tiles above the dormer. The flat roof is now beginning to sag with water, and the recent heavy rainfall is adding to the problem. The ceiling under the leak is now badly stained and the plaster damaged.

    Added to this is the fact that we are short of money at present. My wife is unable to work as she suffers from MS and was forced to retire from nursing 6 years ago. I also had some health issues and finished full-time teaching last year, partly to look after my wife. I have a small pension supplemented by some supply teaching, but this is limited at present. Subsequently, we cannot afford to repair the roof at present. Meanwhile, it is getting worse, especially with the horrendous rain we have had in the past few days.

    I really hope you can assist us.

    Regards,
    Joseph Coburn

  10. I hired a tradesman through the site to plaster and fit a bath and shower in my bathroom. Having undertaken other work in my house I spent the last of my money on the bathroom and unfortunately the work was of a poor standard. As a consequence of the poor work, all other work has been postponed until I can save more money to redo and make good what has been done which has put a strain on my relationship and health. The work required to make good my bathroom is not alot but coming up to christmas and with my son just starting university we simply can not afford anything else.

    I understand there may be other people in dire need but I am desparately stuck unable to move on for the last 2 years. I would really appreciate the help to make good the plastering and paint the bathroom.

  11. We have just bought our first house. An ex council house two up two down trying to do most things ourselves to keep costs low, whatever we start leads to three jobs as its been bodged before. We need something doing with bathroom as it will hopefully be the last room we do, we are getting there slowly.....

  12. We bought an old victorian terrace house 10 years ago and sadly we didn’t know about MyBuilder.com then so we started a massive project of renovating the house room by room and as we were very inexperienced in this we unfortunately had one disaster after another. We were burgled on my 30th Birthday and then the week after a shoddy bathroom installation led to the bathroom ceiling falling in below destroying all the work we had done in the kitchen below. I would not have enough time to list all the many disasters we have had happen. We now have a 2 year old and a 4 year old and I was made redundant 3years ago, and although we have what I think is a lovely cosy home for my children, it definitely needs a day or two days work to finish off lots of little jobs which we have not been able to afford to finish and my husband is a lorry driver and works really long hours and admits he is not a good DIY’er....We would absolutely love your help even for 1 day before Christmas which would be a fantastic present for us all and would be the best stress relieving thing that could happen for us at this time of year. I’d be so grateful for this opportunity. Thanks so much Tracey

  13. I have worked hard to do all my own DIY as a single female. I will tackle most jobs around the house and get a lot of satisfaction from it. I have to do this in the evenings or weekends as I work full time and look after my elderly mother. My flat roof started leaking 2 years ago, and although I'm afraid of heights I got up to see to it. I had numerous people give me a price from the sublime.. (£150) to the ridiculous ( £750... Funnily enough the same price it would cost for his van to be fixed!! :o)
    So I went to B&Q and got some rubber paint! £10 it did the trick for 6 months. This year I got up to do it again, knowing the bad weather was coming. Alas, it hasn't worked. I had new French doors put in by a 'My Builder' tradesman as a gift from my Son. I sorted it all out and got it looking great..... Only to find that the roof is now leaking all over... The carpets are soaked... It's freezing, damp full of condensation and the smell of damp and wet permeates the house. I can't afford the £ it would cost to repair it... ( I'm too scared to ask now) and my heart ( or body for that matter) is not into climbing on top of the roof again to basically 'guess' where the leaks might be? I'd love My Builder to help me have a snug cozy DRY conservatory this winter??! :D :D Prettttyy pleeeaaasse!!! Karen Colpitts

  14. 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) when I was 6 and my sister 11. 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. Simple tasks can wear her out completely but she keeps going as always even though she finds it hard. 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 some one 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.

  15. I would like to put forward myself for the helping hand this Christmas project. I have always found keeping my house on to scratch in terms of DIY very difficult , firstly because I have been disabled since birth (many years ago now!!!!) and bringing up two boys on my own(also quite a few years ago now both are adults now). I was made redundant about 16 months ago.

    I have recently managed to employ a builder to finish off my hall and landing in terms of skirtings and door and door frames. But now would really love the hall and landing to be finished off in terms of decorating - varnishing wood work and emulsioning walls and ceilings. Because I have run out of money!!!!

  16. I am disabled and live on the ground floor of my house. I use the front room as a bedroom but I have large wet patches on the chimney breast which are worse in winter. I don't understand where it comes from but I'm sure it's very unhealthy to sleep in a damp room. Even if I don't win a builder for a day I would like some advice if possible. Many thanks, Margot Ducat

  17. I have a grand daughter who was born blind and has several other development problems, she has only just begun to walk and has to be guided at all times. I brought my current property last year but was then made redundant and am currently claiming benefits. My property has steps leading up to it but a long walkway and then more steps leading to the front door which I find very dangerous both for myself and my grandaughter when she comes to stay. I also suffer from arthriis in the knees. I would like very much to shorten the walkway and steps so that she does not have to climb so many steps as I am fearful of her falling or slipping especially in the snow or ice. Because of my current job situation I am not able to afford to pay for this to be done.

  18. My neighbour Elsie is in her 80's and sadly this year became a victim of home burglary (all her jewellery was stolen) and to top it off ended up in hospital after a bad fall. Although her house is rented and has been for about 40 years, her landlord, a wealthy man, refuses to do any jobs for her. Her windows badly need some tiding up, she has the 1970s widows with the louvers at the top.
    Elisie is a lovely who doesn't complain about a thing, after her burglary and fall she became quite reclusive but myself and other neighbours helped her out by doing her gardening for her and running errands. She would be so pleased to win this as i know she doesn't have much money and i am sure she would appreciate it.
    Thanks
    G Bagnall.

  19. My husband and I are pensioners with disabilities: I with physical (arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease) problems, he with mostly mental problems (dementia). Between us, we used to be able to sort out most household things, but with increasing age and infirmity this is nigh on impossible. An increasing problem in our household is 'cold' - my husband's dementia takes him "back to the dark ages"; to a time in his life when he was younger (and no central heating) and he insists on turning our boiler off saying that all we need is jumpers and hot water bottles to keep warm. With my arthritis though, extra clothing limits my already reduced joint movements; and with my diabetic neuropathy, the cold makes my feet even more numb. If he sees that I have turned the heating back on, it incurrs his wrath and the fall-out is just not worth it (you really can't 'reason' with him nowadays, as his dementia doesn't allow for meaningful discussions). I have been trying to think of ways to get around this - for instance, I'm sure our leaking (condensation-prone) double glazing doesn't help retain any heat in the house; and the fact that the gasmen re-positioned our new boiler a few years ago didn't help (I asked them to keep it in the same place in the corner of the kitchen, at ground level, but they said they "couldn't" - I've since heard from a friend that knows a bit about heating systems that they probably could have positioned it in the same place, but that it would have involved a bit more work on their part!). The problem being that the new position is at head height on a wall directly opposite the room to the living room - and easily visible to my husband, who turns it off every time he sees the light 'on'. Where it was before, it wasn't easily visible and therefore it wouldn't trigger his curiosity nor would it occur to him to "go looking for it" to see if it was turned off. With dementia, out of sight LITERALLY means out of mind! I would love to get help with one or both of these issues (pending whether the price to address the window condensation and boiler re-positioning would meet the stipulated £300 threshold). I think this is a fantastic, practical 'gift' to people who can least afford it. And I'm sure many others, maybe more deserving than myself, will be very grateful for it. So a BIG thank you to your company, regardless of whether it's me that gets the help. What a wonderfully generous and well thought out gift!

  20. I would like to nominate Tony Hunter who runs Ward End Cat Rescue in Birmingham for this prize. He runs a local cat rescue from his private home, and receives no funding other than public donations. It is not a big charity, just one kind and caring man doing what he can to help homeless cats. He rescues homeless cats and kittens, takes them in and gives them medical care, and tries to find loving permanent homes for them. It costs him alot of money to do, yet he is the type of person never to ask for help or money. He loves cats so much and hates seeing homeless cats on the street getting injured and attacked. He has recently had a log cabin built in his back garden as a cattery, but he could not finish it due to running out of money. Any help he receives goes towards caring for the cats, and its the building work and vets bills that cost the most for him. Winning this prize would allow him to finish the cattery so he could rescue and rehome more cats. The prize would be a wonderful christmas present for Tony and the cats he helps rescue. The website can be seen at www.wardendcatrescue.org.uk Thank you.

  21. HI THERE, ALL THESE PEOPLE ARE IN MUCH MORE NEED FOR THIS THAN ME,I AM A SINGLE PARENT ON A VERY TIGHT BUDGET I HAVE DAMPNESS ON MY LIVING ROOM WALL WHICH IS IS LEAVING BLACK MOULD AND HAS GOT WORSE OVER THE YEARS AND LEAVING LOTS OF TO BUBBLES, IT WOULD BE MUCH APPRECIATED IF SOMEONE COULD GIVE ME A REASONABLE PRICE FOR IT, THEN I COULD HOPFULLY GET IT SORTED AND PAINTED IT BEFORE XMAS, IF THE PRICE IS THANKS

  22. Hey guys I would love to have the help of a builder for a day for my mum and dad who are not very mobile these days . They are living in poor conditions in an old farm house. Their bedroom is extremely damp as an old window has not been blocked off properly (just broken glass and plasterboard stopping the elements) Also their bathroom floor is sagging. That's just 2 of the many problems needing attention in their home. Fingers crossed.

  23. were do i start i lost my dad on Christmas day age 57 my mum age 66 in 1992 all to cancer than my sister found she had cancer and lost her 7 years ago this dec just before Christmas my brother in law will not let me see the kids and she had cancer i had a very bad fall at work and can not work full time i am under the DR as i have taken over does before with my Depression i just get to think about what needs to be done in my house i can not have anyone come and see me as i do not no any one lost my mates as i can not go out do not have much cash coming in only D L A i have so much work that needs to be done i just want a house that i can feel happy in so i would like some one to help me out when i can pay to have something done i go with out some thing and have so many bills to pay so help me thanks for your time
    David

  24. Reading other people's sad requests makes me feel that I wish somebody would write this for me, as asking for something for myself would seem wrong somehow.
    I have a sad story too covering bereavements, disability and divorce to name a few, but I would rather ask for help for my 19 year old son.
    He had a breakdown 5 years ago when the abuse he suffered at the hands of his father came out. He was then let down by Social Services and ended up homeless for over a year.
    He now has a job as a Care Assistant in a home for people suffering from dementia and an unfurnished housing association flat, but he is struggling to cope having been there a year with just the basics.
    I would love him to be able to have an instant shower fitted and get a new tv ariel mast, just because I know that he will never allow himself luxuries whilst he has essential bills to pay.
    Good luck to everybody, there is always hope x

  25. Hi

    I would like to nominate my best friends Pete & Sheila. After suffering from a motorbike accident which broke Sheilas back left elbow right wrist and some ribs and Pete with problems to his leg and flashbacks that he nearly lost his lovely wife obviously being off work meant not being able to do overtime for the luxuries we all enjoy. After both were getting better they suffered another blow Sheila was diagnosed with breast cancer so again more time off work more trauma during this time they accidentally burnt the carpet in the lounge trying to put a candle out. I know they would really like to change the fireplace and have a wooden floor put down but are unable to afford to do so at this time as a couple of years on they have still not received any injury claim money as the other party is disputing that the accident was his fault. They deserve some good luck and this would restore their faith in mankind and perk them both up.

    Good luck to all that enters I am sure you will have a difficult decision choosing the most worthy cause.

    Betty Wright

  26. I lost my husband two years ago through very tragic circumstances I lost every
    To make matters worst the property which was my matrimonial home was destroyed by housing. Enifit tenants that my late husband was dealing with I have got no kitchen or bathroom the house needs a total refurbishment basically I was left with a 15 yr old son to cope on my own I would like to move closer to my family for support but cannot do this until the work is done I have tried to do things myself but have not accomplished any thing a Christmas present such as this will make all the difference

  27. I was 7 months pregnant with our first child when we bought our first home. There was plenty of work needing to be done to get the house ready for our new arrival and me and my husband were decorating right up to my due date. Sadly we just didn't have enough time to get the job done - Poppy arrived before we could finish all the jobs we'd started or planned. Four years and three children later and those little jobs still lie unfinished - since having kids we just don't have the time or money to get the various jobs finished. As such, we would LOVE a handyman to come help us finally make this house a home.

    Laura

  28. I am a 55yr old single lady. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia 2yrs ago. I live in a small flat badly in need of decoration. I am on regular daily morphine making it impossible for me to paint or paper by more. My housing association fitted a new kitchen but do not decorate so it is bare plaster for 2 years now. I don't get out much now and living in a flat with peeling paint is making me very depressed. I have been waiting for my d l a appeal to be heard for a year now and am finding it very difficult to manage with the extra heating I need just on income support. If you were able to help with some paint or paper I would feel truly blessed
    Thank you

  29. Nice to see someone in business giving something back to their customers good work
    Regards Gary and all the team at cleverley builders bristol

  30. Hi,
    All of the above are sad and need addressing. I think with the MyBuilder site we will be able to help, so let's divide it in to areas (counties) to get all of us MyBuilder Trades persons involved and help out this Christmas.
    regards Ashley "ABACUS DESIGN and BUILDING"

  31. Hi

    I would like to thank MyBuilder for this initiative, it is a great example of how to 'give a little back' to those less fortunate.

    Luckily I do not need help however I am very saddened by the horrific stories from flood victims around the UK in the last few weeks. In particular a news story last week from the Somerset Levels where the dreadful flooding continues to cause devastation for local communities. Diana Mallows was finally evacuated on Friday after battling it out in her home for several days. She had retreated to the first floor and watched helplessly as the flood water continued rising up the stairs. She finally agreed to leave her home of 40 years after the power supply was lost and she could no longer heat or light the property. This is an incredible story of bravery considering Diana is 90 years old!

    I would be very pleased if MyBuilder were able to provide Diana with the services of a builder to help make her home safe and habitable again. She might not be back home before Christmas, but I'm sure the support would make her start to the New Year a little happier.

    You can read more about Diana's story by following this link:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/nov/30/somerset-flood-victim-return-home

  32. Hi
    A great idea Mybuilder.com! ...I think you have probably opened a can of worms and so sad to read about so many people in need. How do we find out about where people are located in the country, as depending on what the request is we may be able to help, or possibly know people who can.
    Best Regards - the Westview Team

  33. Hi All,

    I am a registered Electrician through the NICEIC. I am happy to offer a half day to someone before Christmas in West London for free. I could do any morning 18th - 21st December.

    Many thanks

    Thom

  34. This is fantastic - we have just had to lay off a technician for tomorrow as a client has changed her mind at the last moment and I would FAR RATHER he worked on a job like this than has a paid day off - SO please do section the jobs into areas/types so we can help if we can.
    All the best,
    Annabelle
    South East Timber & Damp Limited
    KENT

  35. Great idea from my builder, lets go for it
    Any one around the Glasgow area in need of a great xmas present from my builder my company 1st base roofing will give as much support as we possibly can
    kind regards
    Charlie

  36. Fair play to my builder.com. A great way of showing some good will. Will help out anyway we can . Greenside landscaping

  37. would love to give our sevices

    Mike

  38. Fantastic idea, we all need a little help sometimes, I would be more than happy to give a little back to help others. Craig Hosken (CPH INTERIORS) Devon.

  39. Great idea guys, would gladly give my time to someone who needs, be good to give something back. Darren Ryan (D R Tiling)
    South Glamorgan

  40. Good cause,
    We will try and help a person in need if possible, from a leaking radiator to fixing a Gas leak etc...
    Glad to help the MHP Team.
    Merseyside Heating & Plumbing Ltd

  41. Nice...Im up for it. Send me anything close to me.

  42. Brilliant idea.
    This has crossed my mind numerous times to try and find a way to offer our help to those in need. We find ourselves finishing jobs early all the time and not enough time to set up at the next job so someone locally would be ideal for us to just pop in and help from time to time.
    I have put myself forward for a couple of jobs on here but quite a few do not have a Town or County so not sure if I can help these people.
    Hopefully I will get the chance o help someone before Christmas.

    Frank Etheridge ( FE Decking )

  43. Hello, I am writing to nominate myself. I have been a serious DIY-er all my married life but since being divorced I find I don't have the luxury of any spare cash as I work full time and earn a living on minimum wage.
    I still attempt small jobs but with having severe arthritis , especially in my hands an wrists it makes using power and hand tools extremely painful, difficult and very frustrating. Anything I do attempt takes for ever.
    I have two doors, front and back that are in need of either repairing or renewing. they are leaning away from the house and there is no way I could do anything to mend these without help and support of good tradesmen. I need to make my home secure and safe.
    I hope you will consider my application as I know soon enough these doors will just fail and it would take me years to save up enough money to have them replaced.
    Kind Regards Jaci

  44. i would be very happy to help out and give 1 day of my time to anyone in the yorkshire region neil poulston ,poulston damproofing .

  45. I would be happy to help out within the Hampshire region, Dan Gates, DLG Decorating & Property Solutions

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