Well tonight, 8th June on BBC One, just before the nail biting election results, the country got to see what we can really achieve when we put other peoples needs in front of our own and go all out for the greater good of our community. Rebuilding the Ratcliffes home, on the Isle of Sheppey with the DIY SOS team was my debut appearance as the interior designer and as it was their biggest build to date yet, I felt like I’d been well and truly thrown in at the deep end!
Being part of DIY SOS is a life changing experience. If you ever get the chance to volunteer then do it! I had no idea how heart swelling it would be, to be surrounded by so many generous, hardworking, altruistic and generally top blokes and blokesses. Working on this production is totally levelling. There’s no makeup artists, winnegegos, all ego’s are well and truly parked up. Nick Knowles drives himself to location (un unbelievably rare occurannce for his staus of celebrity) and everyone can be seen picking up a shovel. It’s because this is bigger than telly. This is real life and it takes a Herculean effort to pull something like this off. It all starts at the offices of BBC Bristol where the supberb production team work tirelessly through the planning stages that enable us to take off something as extraordinary as building a five bedroom house from the ground up in just nine days. I say it was unbelievable if I wasn’t there.
So first up lets talk about this incredible family. Kyle and Garry are up for dad of the year awards in my opinion. My husband and I are halfway through the adoption process and it is beyong gruelling, and these guys have done it an astonishing three times. The personal scarifices they have made for these beautiful kids blows my mind, but I know they wouldn’t have it any other way. I found them inspirational
It’s the vast amount of volunteers that give up their valuble work and family commitments to do something for someone they haven’t even met. So inspired they are by the families plight and the incredible things that DIYSOS make happen.
I was so commited to making the kids rooms look as magical as possible and these boys amde it happen. They made the incredible cabin beds and stayed with me to the very end hanging pictures and building flat pack dolls houses at 3am in the morning.
It’s without doubt the most swe inspiring, heart swelling, humbling project I’ve ever been involved in. While I drove away after the nine days were up I felt different. I felt dfferent about the working class white can man and the size of his heart. I felt different about great design and how it can totally transform ordinary peoples lives. And I felt one very lucky lady.
If you missed the liove broadcast you can see it here and check out my other post, featuring the big interior design reveal