DIY SOS: The Big Build visits Blackburn to support Children in Need - with a little help from us

Date: 14 November 2019

Read more about how British Gypsum and its Certified Plasterers took part in this amazing cause

Recently, British Gypsum was proud to take part in supporting BBC TV’s DIY SOS: The Big Build. Their latest project took place in Blackburn, to help overhaul a new space to be part of Nightsafe. Nightsafe is a local charity that works to alleviate the plight of young people aged 16 – 24 who are homeless or vulnerably housed. Not only did we donate plaster, but a Certified Plasterer and all the Plaster Demonstrators also got in on the action!

How did British Gypsum get involved?

One of our Certified Plasterers, Bradleigh Hancock, met the DIY SOS team at the trades day on 13th August, which made them consider ThistlePro PureFinish and DuraFinish.

Bradleigh encouraged them to get in touch with the membership team, who then liaised with British Gypsum about donating plaster and getting Gary Blackburn, a Plaster Demonstrator, involved.

“We were asked to visit the project as the DIY SOS team had discussed the ThistlePro range with Bradleigh. They explained that they were converting an old school hall into living accommodation,” explains Gary.

The DIY team had requested ThistlePro PureFinish for the majority of the build but they also requested DuraFinish for the corridors and a magnetic wall in one of the communal areas. We were happy to assist with supplying the plaster and ensuring they were installed correctly.

The project experience

On arrival it became very obvious that the project was way behind due to other voluntary tradespeople who were not able to deliver on all the help they had promised. The day we arrived was supposed to be the day that the plastering started, however stud walls were still being constructed. Areas were identified that the plasterboarding could be started although the first fix electrics and plumbing were still not completed.

British Gypsum - DIY SOS Build

British Gypsum - DIY SOS Magnetic Plaster

“Anybody who’s volunteered for one of the Big Build projects will be able to tell you just how busy these sites are, but this one took it to another level due to running behind schedule. People had made arrangements to be on site and they were arriving on the day they had been requested to find out that it wasn’t ready. In fact, a decorator was on site before the plastering had even started!’ remembers Gary. But did this deter anybody? Not one single complaint or moan was heard throughout!

The community and the businesses in the area could only be described as superb, providing food and drinks to support everyone who was pitching in for the project.

“When we worked through the night, one of the volunteers made a Facebook post requesting food for the night workers. Soon, the local McDonald’s replied and asked what all we wanted. In fact our taste buds were treated with delights ranging from Greggs to authentic Indian cuisine and cakes and buns prepared by the local schools.”

The final result

14 days of hard work and nearly 200 bags of plaster later, the project was complete ﹘ and looking amazing!

DIY SOS - Magnetic Plaster

“Overall it would be fair to say that it was a very tiring week but the sense of achievement and gratification of being involved was immense. It is certainly something that I would recommend for anybody who as the chance and the opportunity not to miss out on,” said Gary Blackburn.

British Gypsum - DIY SOS Team