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On DIY SOS, we know the amazing power of the volunteer
because we've seen that volunteering can change lives.
You guys have joined hands and caught me.
We're only able to come to the aid of families across the UK thanks
to the generosity of all of the people who selflessly give their time.
-Do you think we can get her a bedroom?
Some come for a few hours, some stay the whole build.
All, in my eyes, are heroes.
It's the best thing I've done. Brilliant.
Now we're here in Shropshire with an army of fresh volunteers
ready to lift a family out of the darkness.
I didn't move to Shropshire to bury my wife.
I moved to Shropshire to live here.
This show proves you're never too old to lend a hand,
even though our volunteers are pushing themselves to the limit...
-Do I look worried?
..to transform this nightmare into a dream.
It's a proper home now.
We do not know what to say.
Walk tall, because you have saved somebody's life.
We're celebrating volunteering. And why not?
Over the years, we've worked with over 20,000 volunteer builders
and we've got another couple of hundred here.
We've even got our very own Silver Army.
This is DIY SOS - The Big Build! CHEERING
# Home again
# Home again. #
Joe Grafton and Jess married in 2007.
He was a fireman, she became a teacher.
The young couple soon had a baby girl, Lucy.
-Look at your little face!
They thought they'd found the home of their dreams
and moved from London to a cottage in the Shropshire Hills.
Jess absolutely fell in love with it.
It's very quiet and peaceful and you can hear the birds singing
and the river going, and it's just beautiful, isn't it?
So we moved in 2011.
But with the first winter came a dawning reality.
A lot of the damp started to show through the walls, condensation
on the windows, on the inside and through the winter, that froze.
Their problems were compounded by injuries firefighter Joe
had sustained tackling a blaze.
A staircase collapsed underneath me and I went down it.
I landed on the bottom step quite badly,
right across the bottom of my back, and prolapsed a disc.
Yeah, this wasn't part of the script, I'm afraid.
In February 2014, a collision in his fire engine left Joe's back
so damaged, he's been unable to work since.
Then, with the house already a burden,
life's trap door truly fell open.
Jess came home from the school she taught at complaining of exhaustion.
She always used to come home like that at the end of the term,
say, "Oh, I'm absolutely shattered, I'm going to go to bed." All right, OK, not a problem.
So I didn't think anything of it.
But she didn't get any better.
Within days, she was in hospital fighting for her life.
So they said, "She's got acute leukaemia." OK.
And then they said, "She's also got a septicaemia infection as well."
I said, "What are you telling me here?"
And they said, "Well, you know, she might die."
Joe couldn't get hold of Jess's family.
He had to rush home, but time had run out.
The phone rang and I thought it might be her mum.
But it wasn't, it was the hospital
and they said, "You better get back here, quick."
We got into the intensive care ward and Jess sat up
and looked at us both, and then laid back down and shut her eyes...
And that was the last time we saw her conscious.
Just two hours later, Jess died.
How do you tell a five-year-old, "Your mum's dead"?
The most difficult thing I've ever had to do.
I sat her on my knee and I said, "You know Mummy wasn't well?"
She said, "Yeah." I said, "Well, you know...
"Mummy's gone to heaven now."
And then she looked at me and said, "Is she coming back?"
I said, "No, babes, she's not coming back. She's not coming back."
And she just burst out crying and...
The thing that really, really, really broke me,
was the fact that they, Jess and Lucy,
they loved each other so much.
There's not a day goes by without me thinking,
"I wish that we could swap places,"
so that Jess could be with her little girl.
I mean, it's a difficult thing to handle.
Jess was buried just across the valley from the home they'd loved so much.
Joe committed to finish the house in her memory.
I didn't move to Shropshire to bury my wife.
I moved to Shropshire to live here.
And at the time I thought, "I WILL get this house fixed."
He and Lucy moved into a caravan so that work could begin.
It was a lot to ask of Lucy.
And most of my favourite things aren't here.
Six months in, things were unravelling badly.
You know, I'd set some money by, because every time you
renovate a property, there's always something that's unexpected.
But these unexpected things just kept cropping up.
The more he tried, the worse it got.
Flooding threatened to wash the house away.
He uncovered another waterway under the living room.
With his money gone fixing that, the house was left uninhabitable.
And that's when it all started to get bad
and the caravan started to get smaller and smaller.
It was meant as a temporary solution.
A year later, the caravan's become their only home.
The final blow in a tragic trilogy.
After everything else that's happened - losing my job, losing my wife -
and now we haven't got a home to go back into.
Now is the first time that I've been really, really scared.
Without help, Joe and Lucy will be stuck in the cramped caravan indefinitely.
So that's why we've called for volunteers to step forwards.
This is a lovely house you live in. SHE LAUGHS
So what do your friends think about the fact that this is going on? Have you told them? What do they reckon?
-Is it a good thing or do they think we're going to make a mess of the house?
-It's a good thing.
What does it need before you can move in?
Beds and furniture and carpets and electricity.
-What's the bit you're most looking forward to when you come back?
Never mind the rest of it, as long as your bedroom's all right? SHE LAUGHS
To be fair to you, you've got new windows and doors in the place.
-You've done quite a lot of boarding already.
-Yeah, so we got it this far,
-so we stripped it right back to the stone wall to start again.
-And then, you know, it was a money sink.
You know, this was my wife's home as well and she wouldn't have wanted us to move.
That's all you need to tell us, I understand that. We're in awe of what firemen do for us
and you spent your time looking after the community.
-Time for the community to look after you, I think.
And we need to make it as nice as possible, yes?
Do you want to come outside and meet some of the guys?
They're nice people! SHE LAUGHS
Right, standby to witness the power of the volunteer.
We've got around 100 trades here, all eager to help a good cause.
Together, they're an unstoppable force of nature.
-Looking forward to it? Yeah?
-Do you think we can get her a bedroom?
-You've got to go school now.
-It's half-term here.
-It isn't half-term!
-In England it is.
-We are in England!
-We're not in Wales?
-We're not on your planet! LAUGHTER
I thought we was in Wales!
'Whilst Billy gets his bearings, we need to get the caravan'
Joe and Lucy have called home off the site.
Three, two, one...
-See you later!
Just one more thing before the main event.
Our guest designer.
Can you spot the designer?
There you go. Our designer this week is Gabrielle Blackman.
She's the only one with the blue helmet. Is that right?
Who's that at the back there?
Obviously there are two blue helmets and that could be confusing.
Basically, one's got a slight beard
and the other one's only got whiskers.
With all Joe's early work, it may look like we've got a head start.
But there's still a huge amount to do to be able to call this a home
and something very strange is going on for day one.
It's all happening. I've only been here ten minutes.
There's 20 plasterers up there going, "What are we doing? What are we doing?"
It's normally, like, three days into the build before the spreaders turn up.
# Spread it like... #
Look at that! Isn't that a beautiful sight?
Go on, hit it with a hammer! Go on, hit it!
One of the interesting things about this,
if you look at where I'm standing and then look outside,
can you see how much higher the road is than where we're standing?
So essentially, you could fill this up with water, it would be a swimming pool.
It'd be very difficult to make this a homey place
-and get the lighting and...
-This is the trouble.
This whole build is... The brief is really simple,
but the house is fighting us. You know, everything is compromised.
-The kitchen's half underground, the ceilings are too low.
We've got a six-foot Joe to fit in here.
It's just... It's a tough house.
But make no mistake. Gabby is equal to the task,
making this home warm and dry without destroying
the features that make it a beautiful cottage.
Let's start in the living room, where a false chimney breast
will make the most of the wood burner Joe's already installed.
The central space will be a social dining area.
In the half-underground kitchen, abundant work surfaces will
provide a beautiful place for Joe to cook whilst Lucy does her homework.
Upstairs, Lucy will get the bedroom she so longs for, with the bespoke
raised bed. An en-suite shower room will be vital for a growing girl.
We're adding a new wall to create this family bathroom.
There will be a spare room for the guests
and Joe will finally have the bedroom he and Jess dreamed of,
with bifold doors opening on to a spectacular vista.
Everyone's busy. So, what can I bring to the party?
Well, that's a question I keep on asking myself
and I still don't have an answer.
See, that's not necessary, is it?
With loads going on inside and out, we've got our work cut out.
The countryside is beautiful, but when it rains,
it means one thing - mud. Look at it! Huh-hoo!
This is what it takes to get a DIY SOS out the ground.
Here's mud in your eye!
You're never too old to volunteer, you know?
And to prove it, we've drafted in some retired
gents from an organisation called Menshed.
It's a place where they can just hang out together.
Now they're hanging out with us and have a very important task.
So, what have we got you doing for us today?
We're building the Wendy house.
Well, it's a treehouse, but not in a tree.
Let's have a look at it.
That's not a treehouse, that's a shed on a stick.
-That's a shed lolly! Look at it!
-We was going to use that stump,
but it's a little bit too close to the edge of the river.
So what we're going to do is build the platform over there,
until we can see exactly what it looks like,
and then we'll add the legs and the rest of it.
We asked you guys to come in because you
essentially are also a volunteer force, aren't you?
Well, we provide a centre for people to come to,
so that they're not isolated and lonely,
and we're dealing with loneliness in older chaps.
If the Shed wants to go out and do something, we'll do it.
-So there's a pool of skills there.
If somebody comes to us, "I want a new garden shed making,"
or they want a garden seat, for instance,
-we would make it in our shed.
-Very excited to have you on board
and show these youngsters a thing or two.
-It's going to be organic.
You'll notice they're smiling.
That happens a lot when people join in on DIY SOS.
It's a volunteering thing.
The shed will be the icing on the cake of a low-maintenance
garden with dry-stone walls, a new bridge and unique ornaments.
I could do with a rod.
And a little red hat.
Ha-ha! And a little red hat!
Oh, I'm on fire this morning.
Thou shalt not pass.
But I'm Billy Goat Gruff. I shall.
I was going for Arthur and Robin Hood, Little John,
and you suddenly went for Billy Goat Gruff.
And the troll was underneath.
-The troll's come up top!
You got me.
After all these years.
YOU got me.
Water is the reason Joe's money ran out, flooding and drainage are still
huge issues on this property and that's not all we need to deal with.
We'll be covering the whole culvert up here.
This whole area will become a parking area.
Joe can get in here, park in here,
and then we're going to put a bridge over the river.
-Bridge Over The River Clun.
-Yeah, Bridge Over The River Clun!
-And then over here,
these ladies and gentlemen are looking after the waste water.
-When we say waste water, what do we mean?
-We'll be taking
the bathroom, the shower, the sink, the washing machine.
He doesn't want to say poo. That's what it is.
Joe and Lucy relied on a well for all their water.
When we had the quality tested, it was found wanting.
So the local water company have come to the rescue.
They're here to connect Joe's house
and his neighbour's to the mains for the first time ever.
And it's a long, long way.
How long would the process normally be to get the mains,
300m away, to here?
Obviously, there's lots of permits to get for road closures
and we had to get access over the field from the field owner,
but everyone's really rallied together and given us
everything we want really quickly.
We wouldn't normally put that in, but we've done this
obviously as a special job and just felt like the right thing to do.
To do it in the time, they've brought a digger.
And where there's diggers, there's a Jules.
-That's an amazing bit of kit, isn't it?
-It's a purpose-made trencher.
That thing there just literally trenches a little trench that wide,
wide enough to feed the pipe in.
-Look at that!
-It's like some kind of dinosaur head! LAUGHTER
We love working on old houses.
Like Billy, they have character.
But they constantly throw up new challenges.
We knew we'd need to finish the wiring,
the plumbing and the plastering.
But half the old roof is rotten, so off it comes.
Yeah, we're taking the roof off.
So we're going to re-snip, felt and batten these two roofs.
They said they'll have them stripped, re-felted and battened by tonight.
All Joe and Lucy want is somewhere warm and dry.
They couldn't manage it on their own
and had to abandon the unfinished house.
Joe's story is so desperate, some of those that started the work
have chosen to come back and finish the job for free.
-Did you... Have you just done this?
-What, since this morning?
Put a new fire in and put a chimney in and put the framework round it?
-We don't muck about in Shropshire, you see.
So this is a wood burner?
-So you came and fitted this for Joe before?
-And then they were going to finish it...
-..but then, now we've come to finish it for him.
There's people that work at the office who knew his wife,
-so we felt that we should come and do our bit locally.
-Very nice of you.
Because it would be very easy just to chase the profit and
get on with life, rather than come down here and join in and help out.
-Oh, well, that's the plan for tomorrow.
-Go and make some money tomorrow!
See, that's how it works. He's done something great.
In fact, all the workers here have done something great.
We've taken a massive step towards turning Joe's dream into a reality.
Come and have a look at how higgledy-piggledy this is though, look.
Loads of work has been done in here. Loads of stud work all over the place.
Look at this, this is incredible. And here's my favourite bit, right.
This beam here, one piece of wood. One tree, one tree, one tree...
Tree takes a bend at the end,
so they just built it into the wall as it tails off!
Isn't that fantastic?
I mean, you won't see that in modern buildings. I just love it.
Really love it.
But there's a long way to go and things never run smoothly.
And that's a sweeping statement.
MUSIC: Goldfinger by John Barry
We've gone big with the music this morning!
I'll tell you why in a moment.
That is amazing, darling.
I've got to say something.
And I thought that you would look incredible
-as our gold-topped designer.
# She's the girl with the golden touch! #
-Do I look like a massive doorknob?
UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYS
Dance along at home.
Across the field,
the waterboard must have broken some sort of record.
There's the build-up there and this is the water pipe.
They've taken it all the way down this field, all the way along here,
and we're going to take it all the way down there.
See right down at the end, where that guy's standing?
It's a long way for a drink of water, isn't it?
On every build, we find people that have very different reasons for joining in.
Some volunteer because the family story strikes close to home.
The story is quite personal to me, because when I was...
My daughter, when she was eight, she lost her mother.
And I know what it's like to bring, you know...
I can sympathise with Joe.
And all my team are compassionate.
That's why we're all here, you know?
Hopefully, we'll create a fantastic garden for him and that's the plan.
These trades are an example to us all.
What they're doing will transform the lives
of Joe and his little girl, Lucy.
Oh, she's magnificent.
She's been magnificent, well, ever since her mum died.
She is a happy child.
She's always got a smile on her face,
she always looks out for other people, she's been my hero.
That car's meant to be dark red!
You colour it in.
Lucy was just five when she lost her mum.
As if things weren't bad enough,
she's had to face a life stuck in a tiny caravan.
As the walls closed in, she escaped into the fantastical world
of a Viking called Hiccup and his pet dragon.
Tell me about all these dragons, then.
I just watched it at the cinema and I was like,
"That's going to be my favourite thing!"
-Do you think you're going to miss living in a caravan?
It's not very good, because my dad keeps shouting because
-it's so small.
-What was it like in the house when it was empty?
It wasn't very good and I don't like going in there, because it was so dusty.
And my bedroom was the coldest and I didn't like my bedroom.
What about your dad? What do you think your dad's most excited about?
He'll get a kitchen, because he likes cooking.
And what would be the best thing about being back in the house?
-Do you think you're going to get friends round for sleep overs and make lots of noise?
What she doesn't know is, back on site,
we've already started on that very special bed.
She's going to love it.
And why it's so important and so lovely that you guys are doing
-this, is that this is the first time... This is her space.
When you think where they were living before was the same size
as this room and that was for her, her dad, the bathroom, kitchen,
everything, and this is now going to be her little zone for her mates.
I mean, she's just going to be over the moon about this.
It'll look nice when it's all done.
A little girl's dream is coming true.
And if that isn't doing something great, I don't know what is.
These lovely volunteers are determined to build Joe and Lucy
the future they deserve, in a home that's rooted in a fascinating past.
-Is that a yew?
-No, that's a yew.
-No, this is me.
Yes. A yew tree that size has got to be very old indeed.
So the building it's wrapped its roots around must be even older.
-What is it?
-I have no idea.
-Do you know what? It's got a seat in it as well.
-It's got a seat in it?
-A stone seat.
-What... What are you doing?
It's an actual loo! It's a his-and-hers loo.
-Is it really a loo?
One there, one there. There's two loos.
It's actually what you would call a garderobe.
It's basically a seat with a drop and it drops into the stream
running past, and the stream takes away the effluent.
It's like you would have it on a castle, you'd have it hanging over the side of the moat.
It's a poop chute. People are trying to have a bit of privacy.
All a bit embarrassing that, isn't it?
Oh, there's no loo roll! Knowlesy, throw me some loo roll!
In your dreams! Inside insulation will help transform
the house into a warm, modern living space.
But Gabby is determined to find ways to keep the character of the place.
-Well, I want to...
MUSIC: Goldfinger by John Barry
I want to raise the ceiling in one of the bathrooms.
Generally, as a unit? We just need to raise the ceiling a little,
get a bit more effort all round?
Yes... No, I just want to pop one of the ceilings up there.
-Oh, actually raise the ceiling?
-It's a brilliant idea.
Will it involve taking the ceiling joists out and putting them back in again?
Yes. The guys can do it, I just need to check with Mark.
Looks like it might be a bit late for that,
-so he'd better be happy.
-I don't want anyone to be really, really cross,
but I was having a discussion about wouldn't it look lovely if we took
the ceiling down and then I went to check with you, but you were busy,
and then Ed and Gerry started taking the ceiling down anyway.
So what are you saying then, Gabbers?
Can we take the ceiling down? And we've already done it.
I think there are certain reasons why it might not be a good idea.
Yes, well, one of the reasons that I was thinking about was would we cause roof spread?
So you've got a tight beam up here, which holds the roofs together.
The only problem is we might have to fiddle about with the wiring a bit.
I mean, obviously, I thoroughly checked all of that before crashing in.
It's a brilliant job. Obviously, if Ed and Gerry was here,
you would have thought it through properly.
-You just come up with the design idea...
-..and they've done all the practical side of it.
-Don't try and undermine her.
-All right, OK... What sort of thing should I say to her?
"Well done. Well done. Great idea."
He can't say those words.
-It's going to make him ill. He's retching slightly.
-Can't get it out. Can't get it out.
-Well done, it's a great idea!
Come back! Say it properly!
MUSIC: Rather Be by Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne
The next day brings a fresh challenge.
Frost. I don't know why this music means frost,
but it seems to be working all right.
-Nice day, lads! Isn't it beautiful?
What's quite good about it is, it's frozen all the mud as well.
But the stream, the cause of all the flooding that was damaging the house,
is still flowing, of course.
This runs for four miles down to the River Clun, which is that way.
We've done some local research and we've found out that
the cause of it narrowing here, it pushes the water back up here
and threatens flooding the house again.
So we're going to take a third of that tree off and we're going to
make the river slightly wider at that point
and we'll have a full flow then, so the river won't be able to back up.
We don't want to finish all of this and then have a really bad winter
and flood the house again.
Look at that! No sooner said than done!
That's the beauty of a site where everyone's a volunteer.
They are all willing to just muck in.
Mind you, it takes a bit of getting used to. Just ask the sparks.
I said to Ben, "We've got to keep going, we've got to keep up with it,
"because things change, things change."
And he's relaxed and he's like, "Yeah, OK, OK."
Yesterday, he said, "Everything is going so fast, isn't it?"
Kind of does, yeah. That's the trouble, you turn your back and something's being plastered
and you go, "Hang on a second! I haven't gone in there yet!"
The trick is to find a happy balance between speed and saving what made this cottage special.
-You all right, mate?
-So we're making the most of the rafters in here?
-Yeah, yeah, yeah. We wanted to keep them as a feature.
It's a very frustratingly vast room between the beams.
Cor, it's fiddly that, isn't it?
Now, plasterers don't just plaster. They have to finish off the outside too.
I'm going to make this look like that. In render.
And we've got a porch to do round the front. A bit of creative rendering.
-Well, I haven't done it yet.
-No, but if you can pull it off, mate...
-That's what I was thinking.
I wasn't doubting you, honest!
If you want proof that volunteering helps keep a spring in your step,
look no further than our Silver Shirts -
they've unleashed their inner beast to crack on with Lucy's treehouse.
When you consider we have, like, 60, 70, 80 people on site every day,
they all volunteered, the majority of the materials
is donated from different companies... Good, isn't it?
-It's a good thing, yeah.
-There's a lot of goodwill out there, isn't there?
So what are you waiting for?
Get out there and do something great.
Gary, we're a little bit up against it, aren't we?
-Just a little bit, yeah.
-I said to you earlier,
"Do you want to get another stonemason in to help you?"
And you said, "No!"
You get different people on there, you have different styles of laying.
We can see that in a wall, you'll see a difference,
and it just doesn't look right.
So we just want to try and keep the continuity of our work,
-and that's it.
-So it's like your signature?
-Pretty much, yeah.
Make no mistake, people take real pride in the quality of work
they do here. Everything has to be perfect.
Because what they're building is a future.
Jess's family fell in love with this area
when Jess was the same age as Lucy is now.
Jess's mum and sister are in the next village,
so I've popped over to see them.
Jess is often on their minds.
-We came here when Jess was about six and you were eight.
We came camping a couple of times a year,
just a couple of miles along the valley here, where they played.
-So they had a grand time.
-Obviously, they fell in love with the area,
but it was Jess that wanted to live here.
I think she was the one who chose it.
She informed Joe that she'd found the house
and he came up and agreed with her.
-Which may be why he can't bring himself to move away.
Cos I think he sees Jess as being there,
and it being important for Lucy that she grows up where...
Yes, that's very strong in his thinking.
-..where Mum was.
And is, really. I mean, she's only across in the churchyard, isn't she?
It's little things, isn't it?
You see a car. "Oh, Jessica had one of those."
You know, just hits you out of the blue.
Would she have taken some comfort
knowing that the community was coming together
to make sure Lucy had somewhere warm, safe, secure
-and out of that caravan?
-Without a doubt.
Where she can just move, can't she? I mean, in the caravan,
you just sit in one place all the time, don't you? It's so tiny.
-She's so excited about getting her own room.
Yeah, she is. And to be able to have her friends over.
-It's all of that, isn't it?
It's back to just a proper childhood.
You know, this is what it should be.
And Lucy will get that childhood now,
thanks to everybody who's joined in
and volunteered their time and materials.
But why should people work for no money? What do they get out of it?
You don't need any financial reward for this, it's just the fact
that when you've done it, you can say, "I've done a good deed today."
And it's not just what you see here on site - oh, no.
There's much more to it than that.
We dry-laid the floor in the local village hall,
we sanded it and prefinished it, ready to bring it here, finished.
You just haven't turned up today,
you've actually been in the background doing it already.
We have, we have. Just like a lot of other people, to be honest.
A good group of guys too.
Incredible, isn't it? People do it for people they don't know.
What a brilliant country we live in.
Yep, a country where nothing is too much trouble
and volunteers walk ten-feet tall,
apart from Mark who's 4'6".
As we pass the halfway mark, these glorious trades have already
finished the roof, got the mains water ready,
painted the outside of the house
and started fitting the kitchen.
It's not like a normal site, is it?
No. Not at all, you don't have, like, 30, 35 tradesmen in one room.
-They'd fall out, wouldn't they?
-Oh, 100%, yeah.
-And then you'd get free food.
-What's not to like?
-Yeah. And my wife don't...
-My wife can't cook anyway, so...
No! What he meant was, erm, cos he's never home,
she can't cook for you because you're hardly ever home,
-cos you're working...
-No, she can't cook.
-She's a great cook.
No, she ain't.
There's no helping some people, is there?
The mood on site is incredible, but outside, I wonder
if we've bitten off a bit more than we could chew this time.
Look at the size of the garden. It's massive.
We've got stonework going on,
flood prevention, we've put in new sewage,
we've put a new water main in.
Have we actually got to the stage now
where we're putting flowerbeds in?
We are making a start ready to put the topsoil.
This will be a flowerbed more or less right the way up.
Obviously, because of his back, try keep it low-maintenance,
-easy for him.
-How long would you normally come in
and tackle a job like this in?
Probably looking at about five or six weeks...
with all this.
-And how long have you got?
yeah, bit of a push but, you know, we've got a good team
of everybody working together, so it's great.
And this will give them a lift. With the scaffolding down,
everyone can see the home Joe and Jess dreamt of
emerging from our chaos.
A seven-year-old needs space to run around in
and so the garden's vital,
which makes the arrival of our bridge over the River Clun
a real landmark.
Once this bridge goes in now, then everything then
can be sort of built around it and then...
It's the pathway into the garden, isn't it?
MUSIC: Bridge On The River Kwai Theme
Going to take the bridge out for a quick walk,
it's been in the van all day. Come on, boy.
Come by. Come by.
-Do you feel like a Royal Engineer?
-I do, actually.
Come on, bridge! Bridgey!
So we've got to take the bridge onto that pad, are we?
Watch the timber. Watch the timber.
-Yeah? Go in!
-Go on, Mr P!
Who's the daddy?
Did you see that?
Hey? HE LAUGHS
Did you see that? Mr P!
What a digger driver, eh?
The beauty of taking part is
everyone gets to feel good about themselves.
-Have you enjoyed yourself?
-You mightn't believe it,
but this is as much fun as I've had
with my clothes on for about 20 years.
Brilliant, I didn't really want to know that!
It's all passing along nicely, isn't it?
Where do they all come from? Where do people live?
There's nowhere to live. Look at it. It's like, it's hills and trees.
Do you think they live in burrows and stuff round here?
Some of them are travelling, two-and-a-quarter hours.
Some of them have put themselves up in bed-and-breakfasts
to stay here to help us. It's amazing, isn't it?
-It is amazing.
-Ain't that incredible?
And most of the volunteers on site have never even met Joe.
But some are neighbours from the village, like CJ.
How tough has it been for him over the last couple of years?
Well, you imagine in a caravan, you know, especially the cold, you know.
It's a real confined space.
Yeah. It's not like he hasn't tried it with the house.
-He's been really working.
-He's tried, yeah, he really tried.
And he's done his best, fair play to him. He's done well.
And he's done well with young Lucy as well.
CJ and his wife Annie live just down the lane.
They've opened their home to Joe and Lucy
as a temporary escape from the cramped caravan.
In return, they found a new friend.
He comes here a hell of a lot! Yeah.
Yeah, he's here at least four times a week.
He socialises with us and Lucy comes here all the time, really.
She plays with my little grandson and they're really, really close.
Whenever you talk about them, you look at the end of the table.
Yeah, cos that's where he always sits. That's Joe's chair.
Do you think being stuck in a caravan
-has made the grieving go on longer?
I don't think he's been able to grieve properly, really, truthfully.
I can't really tell you how important
it is for them, as a family, to be able to move on,
because they've been stuck in such a small space
for such a long, long time.
It's not easy to sit for an hour, never mind days and days and days.
So, you see this not just as a house, but actually a new beginning?
Definitely. He's such a lovable character himself. You know.
-He's just... Makes me...
He's just so lovely. He is such a lovely person.
And I feel desperately, desperately sorry for them both.
Fantastic, though, that you and your husband opened your house to them.
We just love their company.
To see them be able to fly again would just be wonderful.
With the days running out,
we're going to need a lot of positive energy.
-How are we looking?
-We've got a lot to do today.
We've got a lot to do tomorrow as well.
Yeah, but we're going to pull it in. Not a problem.
-Do I look worried?
Good news! Jules has brought reinforcements,
although they're even smaller than Mark.
-They're not related to you, are they?
-They're my daughters.
Oh, my diddly goodness! Hiya, girls!
It's the Perryman family. Let's go sort the job out now.
This is, in fact, a crucial stage.
Outside, we still have the shed to finish, walls to build,
beds to plant and the ground to prepare for turfing.
All that will only happen if we don't waste time dithering.
-What's going on?
-We've had no problems in there whatsoever.
We've come to paint this fence,
and now they're not sure on the colour scheme.
Get on with it, make a decision!
-Stop poncing about.
-Just ignore him.
We're thinking, Team Decorating. Just don't look at him.
Just paint it! I don't care whether it's the dark one on the left,
or the light one on the right. Who cares?
I care. And this is just...
How long have we been talking here? Two minutes! Just be quiet.
Here she comes, look at her.
-I think that's a decision.
What? Halfway between the two colours?
-What do you mean? It's a whole wall.
-It's really important. I don't know why
everyone's shouting at me through mouthfuls of sausage roll,
through the undergrowth, when I'm just making a simple decision.
MUMBLES: No idea what she's talking about!
Moving swiftly on to another important wall.
After 30 years, Chris has finally mastered the art
of being a rubbish plasterer.
When we were laying this on, all of us were in tears laughing,
cos it's just not how you render houses.
You can't learn this. It's a gift!
You can't learn it cos it's rubbish!
But it's the right rubbish, it's character and that's what we're all about here.
In the bathroom, Gabby's vaulted ceiling looks fantastic.
But it means loads more tiling.
I could see it, when we met, you had a look of fear in your eyes.
I've still got that fear.
It's going to look so stunning when it's finished.
The good news is the bath has arrived.
The bad news is, it's a bit big.
We can't get the bath up the stairs.
Right, lads, pay attention a sec.
I want you to do this properly. I hope there's no cowboys on the job.
Up, up, up, pull it up, pull it up. Pull it over.
It's such a small house, Gabby's adding storage wherever she can.
He can't get his legs out of there.
There we go. How to screw it together from the back.
-There's another two lads in there!
Now, you'll notice there's a lovely kitchen going in,
but we don't mention the trade name.
So, why would people want to volunteer and join in?
One of the guys at the factory, he used to be a retained firefighter.
And, so, you know, gave him the story as well,
told him all about it.
I said to him, "We've got to be part of this."
It's local. It's seeing everybody all together.
-Kind of corny.
Lovely, thank you very much, beautiful, really beautiful.
Most of our volunteers are specialists with specialist skills.
But you don't have to have skills to join in.
Some of the people from Jess's school have come along.
It's their way of showing how much Jess meant to them.
You've been inside, what do you think of the quality?
Oh, it's absolutely beautiful.
I know Jess will be looking down and be absolutely delighted.
It's cracking, it really is.
Of all the people helping here,
you are the people who actually knew Jessica?
Yeah. We have memories of her dancing to a film that we made.
There she was dancing up and down the corridor.
It is kind of nice, the idea.
She obviously had a dream when she came here that
this would be the place to be together. Plainly that can happen.
But I think we've got a good chance of them being able to live
-a really comfortable, positive life in this environment.
And she had a desire to live here and renovate the house.
And it's wonderful that you have carried on her dream
and finished it off for Lucy and Joe.
Well, we're the catalyst.
The community of traders and suppliers does the rest.
48 hours to go, so I'm off to meet Joe
in the storage shed that holds all his worldly possessions.
Since Jess's death, he and Lucy
have been left to rely on each other.
Amazing, really, that it's your job as a father, to look after her,
and yet, here's you getting strength from your seven-year-old.
She has been my hero.
October last year, I just hit a brick wall, hit a brick wall.
I can remember sitting there, I was like that, just shaking,
It's difficult to deal with your own demons
-because you have Lucy to look after.
And that is the only reason I'm still here.
You look like you're a great little unit now, the two of you.
Yeah, you know, we're all right now.
And the house will help.
I cannot tell you how much that will help us.
This is exactly what Jess would have wanted.
Before anything happened, we had this conversation.
If anything happened to one of us,
we'd want the other one to stay there and make a life.
That's why they're doing it.
And how fantastic is it to do something for someone
and know you've made a difference?
They're going to make a massive difference,
they're going to make a massive difference.
You see, that's what happens when you join in and do something great.
You make a difference.
Back on site, tomorrow's the last day.
The building work is finishing and fluffy stuff is flooding the house.
But we still have loads to do outside
and the forecast is horrendous.
If it rains tomorrow, it's going to be a massive problem.
The worst bit is going to be levelling the topsoil out
for the turf. That's going to be the horrible bit.
The thing is, you've just got to think positive
and think, "It's not going to rain tomorrow,"
and it's not going to be an issue, and I'm sure it won't.
It is not going to rain tomorrow.
Don't look at me, I can't control the weather.
It was just merely putting it in a positive form
just to make everybody feel happy but, you know, hey-ho!
Raring to go.
This rain is not what we need on the final day!
Are we going to be able to do this,
or is it just too wet and muddy and horrible?
We can't come back next week, so it's a case of
having to put up with it and do the best we can,
-that's what we're going to do.
-That's the spirit, isn't it?
He's exactly right. There are so many reasons to join in.
Little Dave is here because he wants to give something back.
So, when did you get into this gardening landscape business?
Er, about eight days ago!
-This is not your bread and butter, then?
I plan weddings.
I do all the fluffy stuff.
-So, eight days ago, you took up a bit of landscaping?
-I did, yes.
Why on Earth are you here?
Um, well, mainly it was a personal thing with me,
because I had a nervous breakdown nine years ago
and I was helped out by The Prince's Trust to start my own business.
And it kind of just took off
and I felt like I needed to give something back.
Just a bit of a personal challenge for me.
I don't like normally being around people, I kind of hide myself away,
try and stay in the background.
You don't like being around people!
You've got 93 people every day on site.
It's the best thing I've done, brilliant.
Absolutely loved every minute of it.
You should get out and join us more often. You're a lovely man.
# Magic! #
Inside, it's situation normal. Bad jokes from Billy.
See this? They're not my real ladders, they are my step ladders!
HE LAUGHS AND COUGHS
And beautiful fixtures and fittings,
with vital details missing.
-So, I'm going to try and find some handles now.
-Yeah, if you could.
And I can get them on.
I'm just going to empty about four containers.
I'll be back in three hours.
We don't have three hours!
But we do have a treehouse, thanks to our silver-shirted volunteers.
Time for a grand unveiling.
Can I take our seven million people inside? Thank you very much.
NICK IMITATES A FANFARE
It's kind of cute, isn't it?
And then you look out across the fields there.
-Sit out on the balcony.
-Gin and tonics.
It's a child's Wendy house, what do you mean gin and tonics?!
Crossing the finish line is now up to the team laying the turf.
And Gabby who needs to put her finishing touches to the inside.
-You could hang some washing on it, an inside line.
I could put Knowlesy's massive pants hanging on that overnight.
That's a bit harsh. I'm actually wearing
-a quite interesting smaller brief these days.
-Let me show you.
-Oh, no, he's going to get his budgie-smugglers out!
No, go! No! Oh, no!
That's just the thermals, hang on.
I think we should probably leave it there, don't you?
Nine days ago, this house was a shell
lacking even the basic amenities.
Joe and Lucy were trapped in a tiny caravan -
no place for anyone,
let alone a seven-year-old who's lost her mum.
After everything else that's happened - losing my job,
losing my wife, and now we haven't got a home to go back into.
It was the first time I've been really, really scared.
Now, thanks to the power of the volunteer,
hundreds of helpers have turned the dream of Joe and Jess
into a reality.
The cramped caravan is no longer needed.
The cold, drab building is now a bright, beautiful country cottage
that is the jewel of the valley.
Inside, the shell of a living room
has become the heart of the cottage.
Local art adorns the walls and Joe's burner adds a warm glow.
The central space is the dining area complete with original beams,
handmade oak table and ingenious storage.
The kitchen, once the darkest room in the house,
is a stunning blast of bright, gleaming surfaces
with raised appliances to help Joe's back,
and its on mains water.
On the staircase, we've retained the cottage heritage
with this slice of stone wall.
Lucy's room is no longer cold and dusty.
It's now fit for a princess.
She's even got the raised bed she wanted,
complete with truckle bed for friends to stay.
There's not one but two bathrooms.
And, thanks to Gabby, their vaulted ceilings
make the most of those cottage beams.
There's a spare room for guests.
And Joe gets the bedroom he and Jess dreamt of,
with bifold doors that can finally be flung open,
thanks to this personalised Juliet balcony.
And the view of the garden is stunning.
It's been transformed with new lawns, subtly-painted fencing,
low-maintenance beds, and stunning dry-stone walls throughout.
We've added hard standing over the stream,
reduced the risk of flooding and built a new bridge.
And, as if all that wasn't enough,
our silver-shirted volunteers have built Lucy her very own treehouse.
The work is done. Now, let's see if they like it.
You spent a long time in that caravan
-looking at the house, didn't you?
-Yeah, I did.
-The house you really wanted to get into, but couldn't.
I really hope, having got to know you and Lucy, that this
will be the start of something new for you, and a new beginning.
If you're ready, open your eyes.
-Oh, my God.
-Isn't it the most beautiful house?
That is unbelievable.
When Jess came and chose this place here,
do you think that maybe she had in her mind's eye
-that it could be this pretty little cottage?
-Yeah, oh, yeah.
Yeah. It's a proper home now, isn't it? It's a proper home now.
Come on, let's go inside.
-Too warm, in fact. But we thought that was OK.
This place is insulated beyond belief
and will stay warm.
It is stunning. It restores your faith in humanity.
-Do you want to see some more?
These are beautiful, aren't they?
But it's a beautiful old building with loads of character.
Yeah, this is such a weight off my shoulders, you wouldn't believe.
You would not believe.
You sit in a caravan and you can see it everyday, and you think,
"How on Earth do I get back in here?"
And you've done this.
-Do you want to see the kitchen?
-Yeah, I'd love to see the kitchen.
Let's go through.
This is just beautiful.
A couple of key things.
We've raised the oven up, obviously, because of your back.
-And then, what we've also done,
you've got to go backwards and forwards to the fridge and freezer,
we've raised those up as well, so if you open those doors...
We want to make sure you don't have to bend down all the time
to pick stuff up.
And, coming across to the central island, that's your work space.
Also, the water has changed.
Our friends at the water authority came in during the week
and laid a 300-metre pipeline from the village,
and you are now connected up.
-You've put mains water in?
-Yeah. Trouble was,
it was tens of thousands of pounds, we couldn't afford to do it,
-but they just came and did it anyway.
-That is cool.
Why is the kitchen such a big deal?
Well, it's the hub of the home, isn't it?
-And it should be, this is where people gather in a house.
We never had a kitchen we could do that before and now we can.
-Oh, my goodness me!
This is absolutely beautiful.
She is going to love that.
She wanted a raised bed.
We told the chippies and they came up with this.
It is beautiful.
Homework space, obviously.
Particularly important picture on the wall.
When you lost Jess,
-she took refuge in a particular story.
-Yeah, she did.
-Was it How To Train Your Dragon?
-How To Train Your Dragon, yeah.
So, we contacted the lady who wrote and drew How To Train Your Dragon.
She drew that and sent it over.
JOE CRIES SOFTLY
Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you for what you have done here.
We kind of thought that was important,
because the lady who wrote that book helped her through it all.
It's so sweet.
-Good enough bedroom for her?
Beautiful. It is so lovely.
Her own en suite through that door.
Really beautiful beam work, so, why lose it?
That is stunning.
We might have something next door for you.
-Look at this!
-This is special.
Ah, it's just unbelievable.
So, we've got two more, one of which we've done as a spare room,
because people are going to come and stay.
-And your own bedroom.
It's so nice, so nice.
Am I allowed to guess what you're thinking? You wish she'd seen it?
Oh, if she'd seen it, she'd love it so much.
She would love it so much.
I know, if she's looking down right now...
..she'd be happy now.
The other great thing about this bedroom, obviously,
the beautiful oak shelves, beautiful furniture, beautiful bed,
beautiful views. Go to the middle window, look out.
We've got a Juliet balcony on there now,
so you can open these up completely.
Stand in the window and look out at the view.
You can actually see the church from here as well, can't you?
When summer comes, you can throw these doors completely open,
fold them right back, look out on the balcony,
see Lucy running around, playing in the garden.
A little special something at the bottom of the garden there.
It's kind of like a treehouse/Wendy house.
It's got little solar panels in it as well, so there's little lights,
twinkly lights, so she can light it up. It's an amazing little spot.
-Let's go get your little girl, shall we?
-It's amazing, Lucy.
-I really do not know what to say, I really don't.
NICK LAUGHS Is this good or bad?
It's very, very, very good.
Shall we go and have a look around?
Isn't it beautiful? Isn't it beautiful?
-Do you want to look at your dad's or your room first?
That is the exact bed I wanted.
That was made by the carpenters to be exactly what you needed.
-Do you like it, Lucy?
-It's very comfy.
Under the mattress is a secret compartment.
Under here is another bed for sleepovers.
How cool is that, hey?
Look at this.
"To Lucy, with love, from Cressida Cowell, and Hiccup, and Toothless."
And she's done this especially for you. Don't you think that's amazing?
Come on, then, let's have a look at the next bit.
Come and have a look.
-Isn't that the coolest thing in the world?
You see all those people coming up the hill? Give them a wave.
They're coming to say hello, those are the people who did this.
-I'm shy, oh, no!
-You're a bit shy?
But they're all friends.
They really are. They came in and built the house
so that you could get out of your caravan. They did all this.
What do you say we go out there and say hello?
And we can tell them what you think of the house.
Thank you so much, everybody.
We should be clapping you. What you have pulled off here
in nine days, it's just staggering what you have done.
You have made a difference to people's lives.
..you have turned it around for me and Lucy.
I was in my caravan back in October.
And you get to a point, and you lose your job, which is bad enough,
but then you lose the person that you love.
And then you lose your house.
It's difficult to see which way is up in the end.
But it's just staggering, staggering what you have done for us.
You should, all of you, walk tall with a spring in your step
because you have saved somebody's life.
You really have.
When you go home tonight, go up to the people you love,
and you cuddle them,
and you tell them that you love them with every single bone in your body.
And you will do till the day that you die.
Thank you all so much for turning up here for the last nine days,
in the cold and the rain, doing this for us.
-And this is from you.
-Do you want to read it?
-Um. I'll try to.
-Shall I read it?
"To everybody who has helped make this happen,
"I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart.
"You're the greatest, and I really love my room."
GENTLE LAUGHTER IN THE CROWD
"Love from Lucy."
Do you think you've got the best house in the valley now,
-or the worst house in the valley?
I think you've got the best. All because of these people here.
Good man, good man.
I found out in the week that Jess
used to make a picnic and walk up this hill with Lucy,
and sit on the top, and look down on the valley and the village
and the house that she hoped, one day, would become her home.
I get the real feeling that she's still looking on,
and she knows it's happened.
And that's all thanks to these guys.
Isn't that amazing?
Maybe you know someone who needs your help.