Wetherby lends a hand : DIYSOS Veteran’s Special

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Tonight will see the launch of BBC One’s ‘DIY SOS: The Big Build Veteran’s Special’ and Wetherby are proud to have been involved in the programme’s most ambitious project to date. (14/10/15 – 8pm)

Capturing the hearts of the North West’s construction community, Nick Knowles and the DIY: SOS team took on their biggest ever challenge, to improve the lives of war veterans and their families in Manchester.

In close collaboration with the Walking With The Wounded Advice and Therapy Centre, seven derelict houses were identified in Canada Street, Manchester and the team quickly set about completely renovating and reconfiguring the insides to create newly adapted homes for veterans and their families. If that wasn’t eneough, the project also transformed the external façade of 62 properties on Canada Street, and adjacent New Street, Newton Heath.

Widely acknowledged that around a third of a domestic building’s heat escapes through the external walls, insulating these homes was an absolute priority. Yet with the homes being accessed by a public footpath, the addition of external wall insulation (EWI) was not possible, so as a result,  an alternative solution had to be found. The EpsiLine Internal Wall Insulation (IWI) system was specified, which allowed the thermal benefits of EWI to be achieved without altering the external façade.

Installed by Hamilton (Building Contractors) Ltd, EpsiLine was considered the perfect solution for a project that was facing such stringent time pressures, as the pre-bonded solution meant that the insulation and plasterboard could be installed in one operation, significantly reducing installation times when compared to alternative systems.

When news of the project got out, it wasn’t long before the site received a high profile visit from Princes William and Harry, both whom have strong ties to the Armed Forces and have worked in various roles for the military themselves, (with Harry a highly active patron for the Walking With The Wounded). The guys certainly showed they weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty for a good cause!

Alongside the Royal duo, over 250 trades people – including members of the Wetherby Team –  from across the North West volunteered their time and products, and turned up to site each day, to help ensure the project was completed in just two weeks.

As well as the construction side of the project, there was also an element of streetscaping undertaken, to help create an improved, more resident-friendly neighbourhood that everyone – veterans and their local community alike – will now feel proud to be a part of.

Speaking about Wetherby’s involvement in the project, Wetherby managing director, Bob Deane, said: “There was never a question of us not helping out with such a worthy cause. It was a privilege to be involved and it was fantastic to see so many contractors, building companies and trades people coming together and joining forces to deliver this project and make it possible.”

Tonight’s episode is the first of a two part special. The second programme showcases the completion of the incredible project and will be broadcast next Wednesday 21 October on BBC One at 8pm.