SOS for a very good cause

Programme Name: DIY SOS - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Embargoed for publication until: n/a - Picture Shows:  Mark Millar, Nick Knowles, Gabrielle Blackman, Billy Byrne, Julian Perryman, Chris Frediani - (C) BBC - Photographer: Production

Programme Name: DIY SOS - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Embargoed for publication until: n/a - Picture Shows: Mark Millar, Nick Knowles, Gabrielle Blackman, Billy Byrne, Julian Perryman, Chris Frediani - (C) BBC - Photographer: Production

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Calling all Blackpool tradesmen and women – there’s an SOS in town for a very good cause.

For Nick Knowles and his DIY SOS crew will be in the resort from June 28 to July 7 to help rebuild the town’s new carers centre – and they need as much help as possible.

The Carers Trust’s Blackpool Carers Centre will be completely transfomred by the TV shows stars and volunteers.

The Beaverbrooks Charitable Trust, donated the premises on Newton Drive to the trust, giving Blackpool Carers Centre a new base from which to deliver its services to the thousands of unpaid carers in the area.

This landmark building, formerly the Child Development Centre known as Blenheim House, was originally built between 1891 and 1895 as two semi-detached properties Ingle Dene (147) and Ivy Villa (145) for the wealthy of the day.

Ivy Villa is still inscribed on the gateposts today.

Blenheim House Child Development Centre relocated to Whitegate Drive in 2014 and sadly, vandals moved in to the empty building and left it in a poor state.

Now, the buildings are set to be transformed into a state-of-the-art centre which will help thousands of people in the resort.

Michelle Smith, Blackpool Carers Centre CEO, said when they took the building over: “We saw past the damage to the potential. It still has everything going for us.

“This beautiful building has done an awful lot of good work and will do so again – under our custodianship.

“It gives us space to grow, ample parking, it’s on a bus route, it’s between the town centre and the hospital, there are gardens and impressive grounds – so much to offer carers of all ages.

“Our current building has become an administrative base. We need a vibrant centre where carers, young and old and their families can have their own space.

“We couldn’t have had a better gift. The generosity of Beaverbrooks Charitable Trust has taken my breath away.”

A statement from the trust issued as the BBC started its search for tradespeople in the town said: “ We are so excited to 
have received the unbelievable news that BBC DIY SOS in partnership with Children in Need are coming to help rebuild our new carers’ centre. This will give our young carers a space 
they can safely relax and enjoy.”

DIY SOS is looking for more than 200 tradespeople to help on the project and is staging a trade’s day at the property on Wednesday June 8.

Tradesmen and women who would like to get involved in the programme are asked to email lucy.jones@bbc.co.uk with trade details, telephone contact details, and a copy of Public Liability Insurance certificates to apply.