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No matter how tough life gets,
family is everything.
Your lives are so entwined together, you know.
Me and him, our lives are like that, you know.
Without him I don't function, really.
I wouldn't be the person I am without Charlie.
But this family face the nightmare of being torn apart,
and their youngest son going into a residential home.
We can't face putting him into care.
We're a tight-knit family, and we're sticking together as a family,
and we'll carry on fighting as a family.
Love and that fighting spirit have kept them together up till now,
but with a totally inadequate house and a growing teenager,
that dilemma gets closer every day.
I know at this moment of time
that carrying Charlie up and down the stairs hurts him.
There's so much at stake.
If Charlie ever left our side, it would destroy her, I think.
It really would.
Which is why we're here.
We're going to build them a home to keep them together under one roof.
But it's going to push us to our limit.
Keep it coming, boy.
As usual we have just nine days
and this is the biggest build we've ever undertaken.
Don't worry, we have Jules, we have Chris, we have Billy,
we have Naomi, our designer. Where's Mark, by the way?
Oh, right, thanks very much.
So where are we going to find a giant army
-to do this biggest ever build?
-ALL: Over here!
-Hey! This is DIY SOS: The Big Build!
Jenny Whatts and Scott Russell from Kent met 22 years ago
when they were both still in their teens.
It was love at first sight.
He was my first serious boyfriend.
And my last! THEY LAUGH
We met when we were 15, and then we had our first child
-when I was still only 16.
Now they're a family of five with three teenage boys.
The older boys, Bradley and Danny,
work with Dad refurbishing alloy wheels.
But life is very different for their youngest, 13-year-old Charlie.
He's got spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy,
which means it affects all of the limbs in his body.
He's registered as blind, he's got global developmental delay
which means he's got brain damage, and he's also epileptic.
I could list more, but that would be his main diagnoses.
Jenny has given up work to be his full-time carer.
Even though Charlie's needs are huge,
these guys always make room for family life.
Everyone thinks with a special needs child,
you have to handle Charlie with kid gloves.
He's got two older brothers,
-he like rough and tumble.
-He's got a naughty sense of humour.
He might look slightly different, but he's just a little boy.
That's it, go on.
He just likes all the sounds and all of the touchy-feely kind of stuff,
because he's got quite a lot of movement in his hands only.
So obviously most of his sensories is through his hands.
I will never see Charlie as someone different.
I always see him as my brother,
that's the only thing I'll see him as.
He comes out and he smiles every day at us,
he gives us a giggle every day, so we can't moan.
If he can go through all that he's gone through and keep fighting.
And he has been a fighter since day one.
I had a normal pregnancy, it was only until the last...
last bit when he was born premature.
Because he was born so early,
and he was actually born pronounced dead so they had to revive him.
I saw them take away this tiny little bundle that was blue
and I just... My head was gone, I was fuzzy.
I didn't know what to think.
He had a bleed in his brain.
So we knew there was always going to be problems.
For us, it was just a case of just keep him here, keep him with us.
Yeah. He was alive and we can work on that.
And that was all that mattered,
because Jenny and Scott had already faced the worst nightmare
any parent could imagine.
Tragically, six years earlier, they lost their baby daughter Sophie.
She only survived for three and a half weeks.
Just difficult to talk about sometimes.
It would have been devastation if we'd have lost Charlie as well.
It was a case of, it didn't matter what was wrong,
as long as he was still here.
It's not hard to understand
why Jenny and Scott are so protective over Charlie.
But their home is not right to look after him,
and now they face losing him into care.
I love my house, I love where I live,
I love my neighbours, but our house has been fighting us.
Charlie can swallow his tongue in the night
so he needs constant supervision.
With no bedrooms on the ground floor,
they've got no choice but to sleep upstairs,
and it's getting tougher by the day.
Carrying a 13-year-old up the stairs,
weighing 35 kilos, it... it takes a toll on you.
It's a worry as well, if you fell on them stairs.
It's not just the staircase. The house is cramped,
and getting around with a wheelchair is a real struggle.
With no storage space, medical supplies are scattered everywhere.
Wheelchair access in and out is a three-man job.
And bath time is also a back-breaking task
for the whole family.
I see my mum struggle quite a bit now with her back problems as well,
lifting him so often.
She never really talks about it, but you can see it in her face
when she lifts him up. It's not a nice thing to see, really.
I'd carry on looking after Charlie this way
if I knew it didn't affect Charlie now, but it actually hurts him
to carry him around the way we do now because of the size he is.
This family simply can't continue like this.
We can't face putting him into care.
I'm a mum and the bond we've got... is very strong.
And I don't think anyone else could...
nobody else could fill them boots.
I wouldn't give my son up for the world.
That would be how it would feel.
It would be complete devastation, it would be defeat.
Right, this is where we come in with an army to build a home
big enough to keep this family together.
That's interesting, a round of applause for getting out of a house!
You can see the struggle. That was ridiculous, wasn't it?
And that's what it's been like all the time. So...
What exactly do you need in the house?
A downstairs bedroom for Charlie, with a bathroom next to the bedroom,
and a bedroom for us that's next to Charlie
so we can see to him through the night.
OK. So how long is it since you've had a proper night's sleep, then?
How old are you now, Charlie? THEY LAUGH
And I asked the question, you could actually put him
into a hospice, and he could get care in a hospice.
It wouldn't happen, no. He's part of our family, he's our son.
And you...you don't give up on your children, never.
-He's going nowhere.
Take care, guys.
Well then, we've got a massive task on our hands to build a house
that's fit for this family.
Effectively, we're building a bungalow on the side.
It is the biggest domestic property we've done.
This is a massive extension on this house when you look at it.
All of this, and round the corner here as well.
As usual, we've just got nine days to finish this.
It's essential, if we are going to finish it,
that everything sticks to schedule.
Thankfully these builders, all 100 of them,
in a house that can barely fit five, are wasting no time at all.
All the floors are coming up, all the ceilings are coming down.
Then we've got to take that wall out,
that's first order of business today.
And upstairs, we're smashing up the walls to replace the insulation.
-It's a lovely view from up here, isn't it?
-I don't know.
Very historic area this, as well.
I remember when this all used to be fields.
-You remember when this was all fields?
So you are older than this house?
No, when I come up here ten minutes ago.
It's all fields, isn't it?
Tough crowd, really.
What do you think of it so far, lads?
-That's more like it!
Innit manic? I tell you what, secret...I think this is massive.
Going to be hard work and overtime.
Ha-ha-ha! Joking about the overtime.
It's true, cos we don't pay at all let alone overtime!
Our award winning designer Naomi Cleaver is back
and she's got big plans to transform this small house.
You've come back on probably our biggest ever build,
so what is your overarching theme other than getting it finished?
It's cottagey, Nick.
-Cottagey. Contemporary cottage.
Jenny is a real homebody.
What we've done is designed something that's just very sweet,
and pretty, and fresh and modern but still homely.
No, we're trying to avoid twee, we shall see how that goes.
We're tip-toeing on the shore of the sea of twee.
On the sea of twee.
The look may be quaint, cosy cottage,
but we're not letting that fool us.
This is our biggest house build ever,
because we're more than doubling the footprint with
a huge wraparound extension creating four brand-new rooms, there it is.
A living room area gives the family a place they can relax together.
Charlie will never again have to tackle the stairs
as he'll have a bedroom on the ground floor
with an adjoining wet room.
Jenny and Scott's room will be right next to him
so they're always on hand through the night.
Removing the wall between the old kitchen and living room
will make a large kitchen/diner where Charlie can move freely.
Right, let's go upstairs,
because the two older boys will finally get the space they need.
Scott and Jenny's old room will become Danny's.
Charlie's room will be a bathroom,
and in the loft, the partition wall will be knocked out
to give Bradley his own space to hang out in.
Just outside the extension, a decked living area will be built
with a ramp to help get Charlie in and out of the house,
and there'll even be a lift down to the garden below.
Whoo whoo! Chugga-chugga!
It's full steam ahead. Inside, everyone's getting mucky.
And outside, Jules is in charge of one project,
the lift to make the garden accessible for Charlie.
The way he's going on, though,
you would think he was building the Eiffel Tower!
I'm probably over-confident there's not going to be any problems because
it's been thought about and worked out to within an inch of its life.
The atmosphere on-site is electric.
The story has touched people from all over Kent.
You see couples like this who struggle, what's a few days off?
It's absolutely fantastic.
The manpower is really paying dividends.
If this carries on, we could have the extension up by the end of the day.
While walls go up on the outside, they've all come down on the inside.
We need to get some steel in,
because the whole house is currently being held up on props.
Bang on schedule, they arrive.
It's a monster.
We're worried that it's a bit bigger than we were expecting.
We need four metres, 950.
We'll have to cut that here on-site.
Drag it off and cut it to length.
-We've got you a junior hacksaw.
Cutting it down will eat into our time
but the measurements have to be exactly right - 4.95 metres.
Maths isn't Mark's strongest point,
so there's no harm in double-checking.
Plus 1.50, 4,950. Lovely, thank you.
-We're just double-checking.
You don't need to double-check.
I do need to double-check cos you always measure 100mm too short.
-Is that correct?
'No, it's not, it's 4.95!
'20 millimetres might make all the difference.
'And this particular large saw can't get to the middle of it.
'Queue smaller tool. Mark, in actual fact.'
Wow! That was a tool, wasn't it?! Whose tool is that?
A round of applause, there.
It's half a tonne of steel.
How are we going to shift that into the house?
'Yes, it's the usual way. You might have noticed
'I'm avoiding the heavy lifting but offering something more valuable.'
Can you gently manoeuvre yourselves around?
'You can't buy this kind of leadership.'
There's a lot of chiefs here and a lot of cooks
and you know what happens then.
Right, I suggest that we do is we take it in as far as the blocks
and leave it there, then have a lift and in, yes?
It doesn't have to be this complicated.
'Oh, but it does. I think it does, Chris.
'If I hadn't taken this in hand, we'd have lost loads more time.'
Same again, lift and move - stop.
Yeah, drop it, that'll do until we acrow.
That went quite well, didn't it?
And now you can gaze through the open space that is
the downstairs of the house into the wide open spaces of the night.
And look, if you peer through there, you can see the extension
which doesn't have a roof on, but is the shape of an extension,
so very chuffed with that.
-It's a good day, that, weren't it?
-Yeah, good day.
'Yeah, I think he looked impressed, didn't he?
Yesterday we put the timber frame up for the extension.
Today it needs a roof, or a lid, as they say in the trade.
And it goes...just like that.
Inside the house, it's electric wire a gogo,
but the sheer scale of the job is getting to one of our boys.
-Billy's in a state.
-Yes, I know about that.
-He's in a right mess.
-He does get emotional about the whole thing.
He gets worried and it gets him worked up into a bit of a stress.
-That is going to be a door there?
-According to that, yeah.
It's harder than usual, let's put it that way.
Especially on a super build, it is a super build, this is.
There's so much going on that my head is spinning.
Aw! But there is a lot to do, to be fair to him.
And we are on schedule.
In some places, even the windows are being fitted,
and that's something I want to bend Naomi's ear about.
My big worry is that when you look through at this area,
-that's where your kitchen is.
So that's going to be a very, very dark kitchen
cos it's going to be a room in the middle of the house.
-Oh, you say that though, Nick.
-Well, I do.
-I have a cunning plan.
We have found this incredible mirrored sort of light wells,
so it will be almost like having an atrium in this section here.
-Is it a modern oculus? Is it?
I like that, I think... I don't know!
-But let's call it a modern oculus.
-I think so.
We're making great progress
and it's purely down to the spirit of the local builders.
What's your motivation for getting involved?
Personally, even yesterday, when we got to see Charlie
and building the ramp as well,
cos we all saw the trouble, he was trying to get out of the house,
so it'll be wonderful now to know that he can come in and out
as much as he wants, it's freedom, isn't it?
-So it's not just a building job?
-No, no, there's a lot of pride in it.
There's a real commitment to getting this job right for Charlie
and his whole family.
I want to find out how the older boys are dealing with home life.
I think it's amazing how as a family
you guys have all pulled together on it.
What do you reckon is the toughest time for you all as a family?
Charlie getting at his sickest points when he's in hospital
and you don't know if he's going to come back or anything.
We don't see Mum, Dad's at work,
we're just at home waiting for someone to come back, really.
I've thought many times of losing Charlie.
It's not a nice feeling at all.
It was getting to the point where he couldn't actually nearly breathe,
he was struggling big-time, and that's when they said obviously
where it's being quite an old house, there is too much dust,
too much dirt around the whole area and it was either
having to completely refurbish the whole house
or possibly, like, having to give Charlie away
cos it's too much work for Mum to do.
Given the circumstances that you live in, and have grown up in,
do you consider yourselves lucky or unlucky?
I wouldn't consider us unlucky.
That's our family, that's what we've gone through.
Every family's gone through different stuff, that's just our thing.
Yeah, I'd consider ourselves more lucky I'd say,
because I wouldn't be the person I am without Charlie.
You wouldn't either, would you?
I think it's taught me to respect life a lot more, value your life.
-Tell us about Mum and Dad, what are they like as parents?
Unstoppable, get anything thrown at them, they will do it.
My mum is a very good fighter, never gives up.
All she thinks about is Charlie 24/7,
she doesn't think about herself enough.
Dad is a very hard-working man,
he'd do anything for our family, absolutely anything.
Work 13 hours a day just to get us through what we go through.
And just still ends up with a smile, always laughing with us.
They will do whatever they can in their power to help Charlie.
Throughout the whole of their life, they've always hit brick walls,
but they've always come through somehow.
-Wouldn't know how but somehow.
-No, don't know how.
With insight beyond their years,
those boys are a real credit to their parents.
You know, they used to share this loft.
Not any more. It will be just for Bradley.
These are proper plasterers as well.
-You can tell because of the trouser...
Look at the socks and the trouser going on there.
Explain to me why the tracksuit bottom
is the trouser of choice for a plasterer.
Movability, because you're all day long you're stretching
and it just... WHISTLING: ..area.
-Just for some movement, yeah.
-Cos that's a look, innit.
Almost like gymnasts.
I can see that, yeah. Very athletic, I can see.
They're all athletes of life.
You know, if we're to hit the deadline,
we have to get the downstairs floor laid tonight.
We've got to put all the insulation in to bring the floor levels up,
and then 75 mil of screed over the top in that room,
out into the extension, right through the extension,
and in that room...
up to there.
'No time for singing - hard work calls, Jules.
'There's another cement delivery that needs immediate attention -
'Four tonnes of concrete for your lift base.'
'He's like a pig in...
'Well, you know what I'm saying!'
I love it, I love concrete.
We're going to make a steel frame which gets bolted down to our
concrete pad, so the concrete has to be quite substantial.
'Substantial? Blimey, Jules, it's like the Hoover Dam.'
The thing is we've gone a bit wider than we need to,
so we've got a little bit of leeway anyway,
just, you know,
cos we could.
I've sort of been around concrete pretty much all my life, really,
so, er, I think this is possibly my most natural environment, really.
'Really? I thought it was the Bay Horse down in Devon.
'Now, you know I'm a stickler for Health and Safety, I've come up with
'a genius idea that will keep our roofers light on their feet
'and stop them falling off.'
As you can see what I have done is taken the standard roofer, Dave,
and attached a...!
-This is the prototype, obviously.
And Mark is holding onto him to make sure he doesn't take off.
Now, I think I've calculated it right,
so when we release him he should become weightless...
-..and able to move around on the roof.
-You must hold onto him, though, ready?
-I've got it, I've got it.
-And I'll hold you just in case.
OK, three, two, one, release the builder.
-All right, so you're not taking off.
-I feel weightless.
Yes, and I should, therefore, with great ease, be able to
lift you off the, erm...
I think it's going to take more than a few more balloons
to get Dave off the ground, mate.
Look at the size of the roofer you've picked.
Surely you should have picked somebody slightly smaller.
We're standard size.
You are not standard size.
We're standard size roofers.
If this was the Dragons' Den and I was pitching this to you...
-..how would it go?
'They laughed at the Wright brothers,
'but after a few alterations, who's laughing now?'
'I told everyone it would work.'
'Yes, if you take away the balloons and make a helium filled body suit,
'it will work a treat.
'This build seems to be bringing the inventor out in all of us.
'Let's get back to Naomi's plan to bring some more light
'into the kitchen and the people who are going to realise that for her.'
-So, explain, cos we've got a hole in the roof here.
And a window effectively here,
cos this isn't a window that you can see through.
It's a blocked window.
Yeah, exactly, so what we've got is basically it's like a periscope,
so we take the light down, it comes down square, and then the angles
are all carefully worked out so that the sunlight hits it, whatever
angle the light hits the mirror, and it comes off at the same angle.
So you're stood there doing the washing up now looking at this wall,
what are you looking at, a big bright white light in your face?
No, you're looking at the sky.
So it's like having a television screen of the sky?
It's bizarre, you stand here and you're looking at the clouds.
-So you're almost like creators?
-Yeah, we are.
You're givers of light.
'I shall look forward to seeing that.
'Anyway, for now, our light-givers have to clear out
'as the screed has arrived for the extension floors.
'It's a sand and cement mix that will create a rock-solid base -
'well, it should do anyway.
'As we're so short of time an accelerator is added to the mix
'to speed the drying process up by ten times,
'so that the floors should be dry by tomorrow morning -
'well, to keep us on schedule, see.'
The floors are finished, we're pretty much where...
as far as we can go cos we obviously can't get back on the floors.
We're in a good place. Bring on tomorrow.
'Yes, we're all feeling very, very, very positive.
'What could possibly go wrong?'
'Commuters may be only just on their way into the office but we're
'already clocked on and Mark's come to see how the floor's doing.'
HE TAPS FLOOR
It hasn't gone off at all.
My God, it's soaking wet, absolutely soaking wet.
I'm going to have to close this all off. Nobody can get into there.
I don't know what's gone wrong. Hold on.
'Of all the builds in all the world,
'this is one we didn't want to mess up on.'
There is no accelerator in there.
We could lose the extension on that.
Got bathrooms, wet room floors to put in, got all the disability stuff,
nothing can happen in that building, absolutely nothing.
That has seriously shafted us.
Oh, my God, we're really in it.
A millimetre an hour?
And it's, what, 75 mil screed?
OK, so, from half six last night I've got 75 hours.
'Instead of overnight it's going to take three days
'for the extension floors to set.
'Fans might cut that down a bit,
'but our schedule's been blown out of the water.'
I've got eight plasterers stood up doing nothing,
and I don't know where to put 'em, I don't know what to do with them.
'It is our worst nightmare
'to have people just stood around doing nothing.
'With the whole extension out of bounds
'half the build has come to a standstill.'
You can pull back minutes, you can pull back hours,
you can't pull a day back when there's only three days left.
'So we're in a bit of a corner, really.
'We just have to sit and watch a floor dry,
'which is about as exciting as...
'watching a floor dry.
'We have to get on with whatever we can.
'The fact is we've made a start boarding Charlie's ramp,
'the extension walls are coming along,
'and Chris is taking out his frustration on the back wall,
'but the truth of the matter is we are really worried.
'With everything so far behind the focus has turned upstairs to
'the older boys' bedrooms
'and Naomi has decided to take them out to get some
'inspiration for the decor.
'You see, Danny and Bradley both work
'at their dad's alloy wheel shop,
'and she wants to reflect their love of machines in her design.
'So she's taken them shopping...
'In a scrapyard.
'Yes, it's a far cry from the West End, darling.'
I feel like I've brought you to the right place
cos I had an idea to find some really lovely car parts.
There's probably not many people other than us three who...
who think car parts could look lovely,
but you think they can look lovely, right?
And I think they could look lovely,
so that's what we'd like to do,
and create something decorative to go in one or both of your bedrooms.
I mean, there's loads of stuff here but I think what we need is
something that we don't need to do too much to.
Nice alloy wheels there.
That's quite interesting.
People would pay good money for that, you know.
And that. Those are quiet nice, actually.
Put that in the Tate Gallery, you'd make a fortune.
'I wouldn't pay any money for that.'
I love these brake discs here.
What do you think? Brake pads.
What do you call them? Pads? Discs?
-That's quite cool.
-Discs, yeah, they're brake discs.
I think that... I mean, just that as a picture looks really nice,
so how about we take a few of these as they are
and, you know, put them on the wall.
-Put them on the wall and stuff.
-Dart them around, yeah.
-Yeah, no worries.
Now, where can you get a shopping trolley here?
Shall we go and look for one?
'You know, I'm not sure it's going to work,
'but the jury's still out on this one.
'Let's see later, shall we?
'Back at the house, the older boys' bedrooms and the kitchen/diner
'are the only places inside that we've been able to get to.
'The ground floor has been off limits all day,
'and the floor still isn't dry.
'Mark looks set for a sleepless night.
'Not just him, all of us,
'cos we can't get at the flipping thing.
'I'm not sure I want to be around him in the morning if it hasn't dried.'
'Well, it's a new day and a new day of expectation and hope.
'Before we open the doors let's all join hands and hope that it's OK.'
You going to come in with me in case I burst into tears?
Yeah, I'll come in.
'It is the moment of truth.'
-Gone there, ain't it?
-It's gone there.
-It's gone there.
-It still looks...
Yeah, it's getting wetter as you go in, I can feel it. Spongy.
It's... Oh, it's really soft in here.
HE YELLS ANGRILY
What a pile of BLEEP!
He's coming at five o'clock for this.
-To lay this floor?
'Well, that's not going to happen, is it?
'At times like this I usually have a dig at Mark's expense,
'but to be honest this really is a disaster so I'll let it go.
'Four of our seven rooms are still off-limits.
'If we're to have any chance of completing this job,
'we need to get ahead everywhere else,
'and it means doubling up on jobs.'
You've got probably 14 people, the only work that can be done is
in the kitchen area, so you've got 14 people all queuing up,
standing, leaning over each other, doing what they can to keep busy.
D'you ever put a brand-new kitchen in with a plasterer
plastering over your head?
First time we've ever had this before.
-It's a different scenario.
-It certainly is.
'But truth is no matter how on the ropes we are everybody is
'determined to make this work because it's for a very special boy
'who's fought much tougher battles than this.'
Among all the considerations,
not putting your child into care
is at the top of the list.
To put Charlie in care was not an option.
You know, we, we would not give up on one of our sons,
cos that would, that would finish Jen off.
And to see her eyes, to see it in her eyes...
..if Charlie ever left her side,
it would destroy her, I think, it really would.
It would be a very sad and emotional time for her,
and for me, but I've got to be strong for Jen, you know,
I've got to be the rock here.
There is not a cure for what Charlie's got,
so you've just got to make the best of what you can for him now.
He's a great lad, and if I could swap places with Charlie,
I'd do it, I'd do it.
I would love Charlie to see the world through my eyes.
The difficulty is you couldn't continue to look after him safely
-at home but you were hitting that crisis point.
-Things were tough...
And as hard as you were working to get towards making that change,
it weren't going to happen, was it?
No, we still was a long way away.
I'd done so much work to the house myself,
I wanted to carry on that.
Do you love me? I love you too.
You want to look after your family and see them all right.
But it's too big. You couldn't do this on your own?
It was, yeah.
I felt I'd failed as a father.
It's my responsibility. I want to provide for my family,
and now I'm asking for help, which I find quite difficult.
So what do you think was the toughest moment
over the last few years?
Watching Jen struggle.
That, that affects me,
that upsets me a lot.
Watching her do the stuff she does,
and she...she never, ever complains, ever.
She's such an angel, she really is, she's my angel,
..and she really is solid for the family, she's, really, really good,
she's tough, she's a tough girl, and I'm really proud of her.
So why haven't you married her?
I thought you'd get me on this!
Well, that's the next thing, that's the next thing.
Now we've come to a point where Charlie's... Charlie's hopefully going to be happy,
it's the next step.
'Well, for Scott and Jenny it's always been about Charlie.
'They won't even consider getting married until he's safe.
'The way things are going on-site,
'we may not be able to set this right in time.'
This is the most important part of this build.
You know, we're finishing the old house off for the family,
but this is really, really important.
This is all about the boy.
This whole building is about the boy,
and everybody cares about it so much.
To be perfectly honest with you, I feel really emotional about it.
You wouldn't think you'd want to cry over a building site but I...
I would like to have a wee cry about this building because it's so sad.
'It's kind of knocked the stuffing out of all of us.
'We need something to pick us up,
'and here is the light literally at the end of the tunnel.
'Naomi's futuristic lighting feature needs to be fitted,
'but it means they've got to get in to Jenny and Scott's bedroom.
'And with the floor still damp, they've laid down some boards,
'but they'll need to be quick and careful.'
How we looking, how we looking?
-Oh, my God!
-Ooh, that's frightening, Chris.
'It's kind of space-age, isn't it?
'This colossal job just keeps getting bigger.
'1,000 linear metres of decking has just arrived
'for the outside living area, which will transform
'Charlie's access to his home if we can get it down in time.
'From day one it's Billy who's found the scale of this job difficult,
'but I've got just the tonic.'
Bill! I'm glad I've found you.
Listen, I know how you like to help out on these kind of things
so I've signed you up for a charity walk this evening.
-Is that all right?
I like a nice long walk in the evenings.
This is actually quite a short walk in actual fact,
shouldn't take you very long at all.
-Oh, that's even better, I can get back to work.
But it's turning a bit nasty and cold, will I be all right?
Do I need to wrap up?
-Bill, I think I can safely say you'll be plenty warm enough.
'Yes, all right, we're setting something up for later,
'you'll see in a short while.
'It's been two days now since we laid those floors.
'Please let there be some good news!'
Good floor, that.
'Yes, the floors are finally dry
'and ready to be topped off with a latex coating! Whoo-hoo!'
'And as the night owls remind us...'
'..that the night is closing in, we can all relax a bit
'knowing the floors are going to be ready in the morning.
'It's a relief, and we know tomorrow there's a lot of catching-up to do,
'but for now it's time for Billy to unwind with his evening stroll.
'I told you we'd set it up for later.'
This is nice, Bill, innit? Nice little charity walk for you.
-Yeah, Knowlsey said it ain't too long.
-No, short one.
There you go, mate, there's your walk.
Yeah, all right, yeah.
No, seriously you've got to walk along them ashes.
D'you remember that time you went swimming with the sharks?
Yeah, it was lovely, lovely. No fear, no fear.
That's the same attitude you've got to have here,
but without your shoes and socks on. You'll be fine.
'There's no getting out of this.
The family are here to cheer you on.'
Have you done it before?
I've done it for charity, yeah, yeah, I've done it,
and it's, er, yeah, it's really good, you'll enjoy it.
-Yeah, it's empowering.
-Have you done it, Jenny?
-I've done it.
-And who else is going to do this with me?
-We all are.
Oh, lovely, lovely.
We're doing this for Charlie, yeah?
'Now, you can't do this without some kind of special instruction, Bill,
'and who better than world record holding fire-walker, Scott Bell.
'Look at Billy's face!'
Are you ready to go fire walking?
'This is all a case of mind over matter -
'thankfully we've got one of the finest minds in the country.'
It's 682 centigrade, that's six times boiling point.
Yeah, nearly seven times hotter than boiling water.
-Go on, Byrnsey!
BILLY BREATHES DEEPLY
-Go on, just do it.
-Go on, son! Go on, Billy.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
'Whoo-hoo! Byrne by name, burn by...
'I think I'll stop there.'
-Charlie, was that good?
-Oh, he missed it.
-Did you see that?
-Can you do it again?
'Go on, Dad, go on.
'Oh, very casual.
'In fact the whole family seem to be pulling it off without all the drama
'that Bill was throwing into the mix.
'They're showing him up a bit.
'But when you think what this family has been through,
'walking on hot coals is the least of the things they've had to face.'
Positive thinking, don't fear. Do you know, that's amazing.
'It looks such a peaceful morning, doesn't it?
'But that couldn't be further from the truth, we are miles behind
'on our biggest home build ever.'
We've essentially built another entire house on the side,
and then the decking and, erm, and, er, disability ramp,
which you can see being filled in here, is the size of another house.
It's just vast.
'This is a house of two halves -
'if you look upstairs we're on the home straight.
'But downside it's turmoil and we've only got two days left.'
I just can't believe the size of this thing -
it's so huge it's ridiculous.
This has been very nearly beyond us, this one,
but it's amazing,
just more and more people keep turning up to do the work.
'And it's not just the builders
'producing the goods, let me tell you.'
-I've brought some cakes.
-So this is Sue...
..who has taken a week off work to bake for us.
'There are eight attached cottages
'in this little community out in the countryside,
'and all the neighbours like Sue have acted like a life support
'for the family - literally.'
First Christmas, Christmas Day, erm, he stopped breathing,
and Jenny came running up and just said,
"Help me, he's stopped breathing."
And I just put First Aid training into play
and gladly we got him back but, erm, yeah, he's still here today,
and that's down to the family.
They are just so close.
-And a little bit down to you.
Well, I just did, I just did what I had to do on the day and...
And now do what you have to do here as well with the cakes.
And it's far nicer baking cakes for builders.
Go and feed your 5,000.
80 is bad enough.
Thank you, Sue.
'The energy is definitely up on-site -
'maybe it's the sugar in all those cakes.
'But we're at that wonderful stage where Naomi's design ideas
'are taking shape.
'Danny's getting a stylized map of Kent on his wall,
'and Bradley's room has an urban vibe with reclaimed floorboards
'and those car parts dotted about the place.'
I like the sort of industrial feel to it, almost like warehouse...
-Yeah, lofty. It's a lofty loft.
'Down in the extension, things are finally moving quickly,
'the plasterers are in,
'and a waterproof coating is going down in the wet room.'
Two hours' time and all of this will be finished.
'D'you know what? I'm starting to believe him.
'We feel like having let this build get away from us
'we're gaining on it fast, we can almost smell the finish line.
'All this is for Charlie,
'but will he understand the changes that have been made?'
Forgive me for asking,
but how much is Charlie aware of everything going on around him?
Sometimes he can be quite unresponsive and quite sleepy
and you don't get much from him, but there's big windows
where if you're looking, if you really see him,
when you see into his little soul that he's just a delight,
he's just, he's everything.
So you genuinely feel blessed to have Charlie?
I do, yeah, he's taught me much more than I've ever taught him.
'He doesn't judge anyone, he doesn't expect anything,
'he...he's so innocent, isn't he?'
He is pure innocence.
We should all take a leaf out of his book, shouldn't we?
I mean, there is enormous difficulty that comes with
having a child with the disabilities that Charlie has.
I don't see it that way.
-You don't at all?
Our first child, Sophie, she didn't make it.
She was only three-and-a-half weeks when she died.
You know, if you lose a parent, you're an orphan,
but when you lose a child there's no name to it.
It's one of the hardest things.
That's what made me accept, because a lot of people struggle
with the, you know, oh, you expected the normal baby,
expected, you know, the same as my boys,
you know, they're going to meet all these milestones
and they're going to do this and they're going to do that...
Having already lost Sophie, it didn't matter for Charlie
not to do things like that because he was here still,
and knowing he might not have been
and I could have had to have gone through that again,
them things don't matter any more.
You look past them, you judge your successes
and your life in a different way once you have a special needs child,
and you're looking more at the person and the soul
than if he walks, if he talks.
Them things, it doesn't matter any more.
When you go to sleep at night what do you wish for?
That he's there in the morning.
Really? It's that much of a pressing issue, is it?
That he might not be here for ever,
more than likely won't be,
but it's living with that fear, and not knowing when he's ill
cos he can't talk or anything,
that you can't always make things better.
I'm not sure how long anybody could live with that pressure.
You don't get any other choice.
So how much was the house getting in the way of family?
It was fighting against us to the point that we did get desperate.
You realised you had to make a decision about having to put
Charlie into care for his safety and security.
No, I could never have done that.
You couldn't have done it?
But you might have had to have done?
That's the scary bit, that's the point I got to, you know...
If no-one helps, what do we do?
It was getting to there.
So for you guys to come in means a lot.
We can carry on being a family,
and that means everything.
'That's why it's so important,
'not just to make a family's life easier,
'but to keep them together.
'But it's going down to the wire, it really is.
'Catching up in the extension is the real problem,
'and the floorers can't get in till everyone else has left -
'so they were here till very, very late.'
'Now, with hours to go, the equipment that will make such a difference
'to Charlie's life is finally being installed inside and out.'
Look at this!
-Good ain't it?
So this is the lift.
Basically you've got a cantilevered cabin that goes up to this level.
You've got to love a cantilever, haven't you? Haven't you?
How high does that go?
To level with this floor here.
That's not going to work, is it?
You pilchard! You haven't measured it, have you?
We need to move the...
We need to have the lift slightly further this way.
Well, we can't, can we?
You should have put the concrete a little bit that way, shouldn't you?
Well, no, that was the whole idea was to come from this deck level
up to that deck level.
Cos now we've got to start cutting holes in the roof.
'Better crack on, then, Jules, we're running out of time.
'It's the final push and there's a real buzz on-site.
'Well, it's the buzz of power tools, to be honest, drills,
'and cutting holes in the roof.
'We're making things pretty, Jules is righting his wrongs,
'it's a race against time,
'and we're all a little bit delirious to be fair.'
-It's actually very nice.
'You can see how rarely she is happy by his face, can't you?
'The garden is really taking shape with lovely flat turf going down,
'which is ideal for wheelchair use.
'What are you doing, gentlemen?
'The windows get its finishing touches
'so all the sunlight can stream in, it's lovely.
'And we've cut the right hole.
'Yeah, a bit emotional.
'Nine days ago we met a family whose home threatened to tear them apart.'
We did get desperate. It was hard.
Carrying a 13-year-old up the stairs weighing 35 kilos...
It takes a toll on you.
But throughout this time they've always stayed positive.
It's pick yourself up.
Pick yourself up, dust yourself off.
My parents put on a brave face through it all
but, I think, deep down inside, they are struggling quite a bit.
'Putting Charlie into care and splitting the family up
'just wasn't an option.'
He's our son, and you...you don't give up on your children. Never.
'But for dad Scott reaching out for help did not come easy.'
It's my responsibility.
I want to provide for my family,
and now I'm asking for help which I find quite difficult.
'But when he did ask we called in the troops.
'Now Scott and his family can look forward to a better future.'
'Wow, wow, just look at the size of this.
'In the kitchen we've removed the wall to the living room
'to create a massive open space that Charlie can move around freely.
'A large dining table and seating area has been added
'so that he can join the family for mealtimes.
'A special window feature boosts the natural light into every corner
'and some of the old features of the house have been integrated into
'the new to keep that cottagey vibe which was all-important to Jenny.
'Creating four new rooms has made a relaxing living area which
'all the family can enjoy together.
'Charlie has a new bedroom on the ground floor
'meaning those dangerous stairs are a thing of the past,
'with an en-suite wet room and hoist system.
'Bath time will no longer be a back-breaking family affair.
'Scott and Jenny's new bedroom is right next to Charlie,
'so they can be on hand throughout the night,
'and it will be a haven for them to unwind.
'Upstairs the two boys who never asked for anything
'finally have the space they deserve.
'Now for the first time Danny can stand tall in his own room,
'and Bradley has finally got a bedroom fit for a young man.
'Look how beautiful a loft room this is!
'Outside a huge living area has been built with a side ramp
'to give Charlie access in and out of the house.
'And so that he can enjoy the entire garden
'a lift has been added too.
'But let's start inside -
'I wonder if after all they've been through
'Mum and Dad will believe what they see?'
If you're ready, open your eyes.
You can go first.
Oh, my God!
I can't work out where I am.
We've got no walls left.
Words can't express...
-We have space!
-Its flow and accessibility...
-It feels so big.
It does, doesn't it, and airy? That kitchen is lovely.
Go and have a look at it, it's your kitchen.
-I'm coming with you.
-Plenty of space to move around,
and the floor is flat all the way through, which is important.
We've never had the space, I just want to run around with my arms out.
Walking around chairs and tables
-and banging into each other and...
-And it still feels cottagey, that's what I love.
-Was that important to you?
-Yeah, well, you know, it is a cottage.
The view out over the fields,
except it isn't a view out over the fields, is it?
If you look at it, you're looking directly up at the sky,
-so to bring the light in...
-It's an optical illusion.
-..we've created a window.
-Oh, my God.
-That is very clever, yeah.
Yeah, it is heavens above!
-This is all new.
This wasn't part of our house before.
Yeah, this is new, so that kitchen-diner,
-that was your whole...
-That was the whole house before.
So we can actually all sit down.
Sit down together, yeah.
How can you possibly get this done in nine days?
It's not possible.
So we leave the living room,
and there's a connecting corridor that comes to this door,
which is your access now, so we've put a bit of a ramp up outside,
so when he comes in his front door here,
he'll either go into the living room and family area that way,
or he goes this way into his bedroom. Do you want...?
No, I don't, I'm going to go already.
-This is kind of the big area of it, isn't it?
-This is what we needed.
-It's all right.
The whole house, it wasn't about us,
it was about what we needed for Charlie,
and to know that I've got that without even seeing it...
It just means so much.
-We haven't got to carry him upstairs
-any more. No, I know.
That is fantastic.
A mechanically controlled bed, you know all about these,
electronic beds that you can move and shape and so forth.
It's a proper little grown-up boy's room as well, isn't it?
It kind of is, innit?
Is it all right?
It's more than all right, it's perfect.
It's fantastic, I love it.
-We've got a hoist.
-Yeah, the hoist, that's the other...
Obviously, this hoist will help him
to get through to the other key room here.
Would you like to, erm...?
And I'll drag the hoist through with me.
And this was the hardest bit for us.
This is what made life tough, trying to get him out of the bath.
-It took three of us.
-This is a special bath as well.
Thermal in two ways. One, you can set the temperature to make sure
the temperature is always absolutely right,
also double thermally insulated so that it gets colder slower,
cos I know with the body temperature regulation is kind of difficult.
His own bedroom and bathroom, I mean...
we could only but dream of stuff like this.
-Secret hideaway room.
Look at that.
We wanted to give you some sort of glitz and glam so it felt like,
when you're in here it's like a boutique hotel room.
-I can just jump out of bed and run next door.
And none of this having to run around in the middle of the night
trying to scrabble round to get to him.
You're right next door, he's right next to the wet room/bathroom.
At the end of the day we only asked for a bedroom,
and you've done so much more than that.
I'm going to go again...! SHE LAUGHS THROUGH TEARS
Looking down... Step forward, look up.
-OK, that's a bit more than a ramp.
Not only is the house huge...
-Look at this.
You've got a seating area so the lads can be out here
with their friends and it's a cool place to be.
I think this is a family moment so I'm going to keep out of the way.
Why don't you guys show the family round the house?
C'mon on then.
This is Charlie's bedroom.
-Can't comprehend, can you?
Are you coming to have a look in here?
Look, it's your bedroom, eh?
'The boys said this was all about Charlie,
'but now's the time for them to see their rooms.'
No. Check that out.
Is this really my room?
Yeah. It is, yeah.
Your own self-contained flat, reclaimed timber,
brick wall, little bit industrial.
-Your clutch plates from the scrapyard
-when you went on tour with Naomi.
-Yeah, I see them there.
Which kind of look cool.
Yeah, they kind of fit in with the rustic..
It goes together with the wall and the wood.
I can't take it all in, I really can't.
You deserve this. You know, you're a great lad and...
And this is your bedroom!
-It's cool, ain't it?
-This is awesome.
-You deserve it.
-I can't believe it.
We are really proud of you,
and we really appreciate all that you've done for us.
I'll do it anytime.
Sorry! SHE CRIES
You never asked for anything ever.
Didn't have to.
I know, but you deserve it, Dan.
Shall we go and meet the builders?
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
In nine days you've created a miracle.
Your families have gone without just for you guys to provide for us,
and that for me and for my family is incredible,
and I thank you so, so much.
What you all did for us is returned a house into a home,
we can be a family.
You didn't just change Charlie's life,
you've changed all of our lives.
And I can't thank you enough for that.
It's been a long time trying to get to this point...
Sorry...! SHE CRIES
But I'm glad we've done it cos I wouldn't have known half the people
we've met along this journey without you.
And I hope you all stay in our futures too
cos you're part of us now.
Sorry, I'm going on a bit, but some of you probably know us
very well, obviously, and, erm,
throughout the 22 years that me and Jen have been together
we've never actually got married, erm,
and she hounds me day and night about getting married,
and, er, I think it's got to the point now where, er,
you know, things are going to change and things are going to move on,
and I believe it's time to sort of maybe ask the question, erm...
and, er, jump in and, er, Jen...
-Jenny, will you marry me?
-No, I'm washing me hair!
She's washing her hair!
Bradley and Dan say their mum and dad are amazing because
throughout Charlie's life Mum and Dad have kept on having to
run through walls. No matter what's put in front of them,
they just keep on going, but of course this wall was
just too big to run through on their own. So what do you do?
Well, it's tough to ask for help,
but when you finally work up the courage to do it,
people come and knock them down for you, literally.
That's what these people have done, changed their future,
helped them run through walls.
Maybe you know somebody who needs your help.