Essex power workers join ‘DIY SOS: The Big Build’ transformation

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  Posted by: electime      19th December 2023

Power workers were among Essex craftspeople who helped BBC1’s DIY SOS: The Big Build create a new base for socially isolated and lonely people.

Stephen Varney, Andrew Boughtwood and Chloe O’Doughty-Edwards joined hundreds of local helping hands and some of TV’s Eastenders cast, under the guidance of presenter Nick Knowles, to convert a former caretaker’s bungalow in Harlow.

The lifechanging build which was shown on BBC 1 last night (8pm, December 18) created a stunning space for workshops and sessions to improve mental health and wellbeing, for people helped by Butterfly Effect Wellbeing. The community interest company was set up by director Angela Hannibal after she lost her mum to suicide, and she runs the group with fellow director Dawn who lost her brother to suicide.

Eastenders actors including Perry Fenwick, Natalie Cassidy, Scott Maslen and Colin Salmon all took part in the Christmas special.

The UK Power Networks engineers completed a service alteration, and other staff who are given two paid days a year to volunteer, also helped on site. The crew then attended the Big Reveal in October to see how the previously unloved space had been transformed into a warm and welcoming hub.

Moving the electricity supply was an integral part of the project, and cable jointer Stephen Varney said: “It was a great privilege to be selected to be involved in such a special project for mental health, and to be able to give something back to my local community.”

Chloe O’Doughty-Edwards, a network data engineer added: “I’m a keen DIYer and I spent six days helping with all sorts of jobs.”

In total this year, UK Power Networks employees have completed almost 500 volunteer days.

Picture captions: UK Power Networks moved the power supply for the DIY SOS team, enabling a stunning workshop space to be created.
Pic 1/Preview image: Stephen Varney and Andrew Boughtwood
Story images – DIY SOS pics –  BBC TV

 For further information please contact UK Power Networks press office on 03301 591712.