‘Life-changing’ GeeWizz-led renovation project praised by grateful family
A GeeWizz-led DIY SOS-style project to improve the life of a teenager with autism and epilepsy has been completed.
More than 100 workers from nearly 39 contractors have been working to design and build a new bedroom and wet room for 14-year-old Daniel Dellar, who has autism and Dravet Syndrome, a form of paediatric epilepsy.
Bruizer | GeeWiz - DIY SOS from Bruizer on Vimeo.
His mum, Mandy Dellar admitted she was left helpless by rejection at virtually every corner as she desperately pleaded for support, unable to cope with the physical demands of getting her son into the bath or upstairs.
Eight years ago Mandy and her husband Nick had no choice but to convert their living room into a makeshift bedroom for 14-year-old Daniel – and squeeze the rest of the family into a small side room.
Then a passing conversation with a family friend, a meeting with a leading Suffolk charity campaigner and the incredible goodwill of the local business community changed everything.
For Mandy and Nick, and Daniel’s older brothers Jack and Harry, the reality has not yet sunk in.
Mandy admitted: “This whole experience has shown me what an amazing community we have in Ipswich and throughout Suffolk.
“To see all these local contractors come together and support our family for free just makes me very emotional and very grateful.
“I also cannot thank Gina Long and GeeWizz enough. I’ve never had anyone fight our corner before, Gina did exactly that and it’s been a positive wonderful, whirlwind since the day we met her.
“All this generosity has made such a difference to Daniel’s life – and our whole family.”
The SOS Renovation project began a year ago when Gina Long MBE was contacted by Guy Nicholls, a family friend of the Dellars, and told about their plight.
Spurred into action, the project was given a fantastic boost when £6,600 was raised by Geraldine Milsom at her Milsom Hotels and Fenwick Colchester Fashion Show, that she hosted a year ago at Kesgrave Hall.
But it was when Matt Cottrell, from Foxwood Ceramics and Cottrell Brickwork, who took it upon himself and agreed to lead the building project – supported by Ben Allen from The Birch Group – each bringing more and more contractor, who willingly came on board, making the dream became a reality.
The three-month project was also captured on film by Woodbridge-based Bruizer – a further example of the generosity involved.
Commenting on the unique partnership, Gina said: “A year ago, with the kind support of my dear friend and huge GeeWizz supporter, Geraldine Milsom and Fenwick, who held a hugely successful fashion show that would make a difference to a brave teenager living in their community.
“But this pipedream only became a reality thanks to the overwhelming generosity of 39 extraordinary local contractors, headed so superbly by Matt Cotterill who took responsibility of the whole restoration every single day for the last 5 months.
“They all came together, for free, to support a local family and the journey of this whole restoration – and the end result – is something to behold and completely life-changing for Daniel and his family.”
The full list of contractors are:
- Tru7 Group
- Foxwood Ceramics
- The Birch Group
- FIS Windows
- Whip Street Motors
- CDC Demolition
- Simply Climate Control
- Brett Concrete
- Abds Architects
- Aquatec Ltd
- Coastal Building Supplies
- Ridgeons, Martlesham and Ipswich
- M&S Contractors
- MLM Building Control
- Collier and Catchpole
- Alexander Builders
- Mckeary Dry Lining LTD
- DAB Group
- Electric Centre Ipswich
- Dreamwave Events
- Milsoms Kesgrave Hall
- Margaret Horsman Interiors
- Weathercare Blinds
- Beneath Heat
- Coastline Graphics
- Plumb City
- Poundfield Products
- C&N Plumbing
- Shirley Shelly Cleaning Services
- Denny Bros