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Nick Knowles and the DIY SOS team at the McCreight family home in Bangor

Nick Knowles and the DIY SOS team at the McCreight family home in Bangor

Nick Knowles and the DIY SOS team at the McCreight family home in Bangor

The DIY SOS Big Build team's first trip to Northern Ireland will be aired next week.

Nick Knowles and his team visited Bangor in Co Down to help one local family transform their home and improve their quality of life.

The award-winning BBC One renovation series recently celebrated its 20th anniversary.

And in this programme, build manager Mark Millar makes a welcome return to his hometown.

Mark said: "It was my proudest moment in 34 years to walk back in to my hometown and be surrounded by trades people from all across the province, working, laughing and sharing so much love together all for a family that none of us knew".

Filming for this episode of DIY SOS: The Big Build took place during summer 2019 - a time before Covid-19 - when the team visited Bangor to work with the McCreight family who have complex health conditions. Living in a house that does not meet their needs has many challenges with the family of four forced to spend much of their time apart.

Mum Mandy has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, postural orthostic tachycardia syndrome, fibromyalgia and gastroparesis. This leaves Mandy confined to the bedroom most of time as she finds the stairs difficult to negotiate and cannot use her power chair within the family home.

Mandy said: "I am completely isolated in my bedroom from the rest of my family whilst dealing with my conditions".

Husband Davy is registered as Mandy's carer and juggles this with being a full time father to their children Ben and Kara who also have health needs. Davy also finds the stairs hard to manage, with a back injury, burning feet syndrome and problems with his knees.

The layout of the house needs to be reconfigured to suit the family needs with appropriate bedrooms and a wet-room that has direct access for carers. Doors need to be widened throughout, with a new lift installed to access the first floor, allowing wheelchairs to move freely throughout the home.

As always for this project, the DIY SOS team calls on the support and generosity of volunteers from the local community in Bangor.

DIY SOS: The Big Build is on BBC One, Monday February 22 at 9pm and is also available on BBC iPlayer

Belfast Telegraph


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