We were given keys to the property on 1st October 2017. From that day onward we were in the building almost every day, evening and night, calling upon anyone we can to help us. Stu Clark is the builder mastermind behind most of the work, coming after work every day he worked pretty much the equivalent of two full-time jobs to get it together. Not an easy project: a really complicated commercial building all being done in spare and voluntary time on a tight budget, and there were some real lows. Electrical faults, flooding after storms, difficult building regulation requirements and illnesses.
However there were so many heroes who brought us back from the lows: it was an incredible community project. From a local construction company (McCarricks) giving 2 weeks of their team’s work for free, to companies like Howdens and The Tile Shed giving us free stuff, to plumbers, electricians, building friends and plasterers (Arc PlasteringArc Plastering and MRJ Plastering) giving their expertise, to refugees, a french intern and many volunteers from all sorts of backgrounds giving their time to drill, clean, paint, tile and create.
Weeks went by and we worked harder and longer hours than ever before. Nikki learnt a lot about wielding a drill and building regulations, Mim almost passed out from inhaling paint fumes, and Stu faced of problematic electrics with grit and determination, whilst patiently and graciously allowing all the amateurs have a go at the DIY thing. It took three times longer than we had planned, and cost three times as much. But we got there. An incredible achievement that we can’t help but feel hugely proud of, and proud of the community that got behind us and made it happen.
To all those that helped, in whatever way, THANK YOU.