THIS year’s BBC Children in Need Big Build is now officially ON – thanks to Erewash council planners answering an SOS from the TV team behind it.
Work to construct a new children’s wing at Risley’s Treetops Hospice will get under way on September 10 after the borough pulled out all the stops to grant green belt consent. The build will be completed from scratch in an amazing ten days.
Tight deadlines for filming meant the project could only go ahead if a crunch planning meeting was brought forward. The committee had previously been due to meet later in the month, which would have been too late for Nick Knowles and his DIY SOS crew.
The last hurdle to the new counselling and therapy hub in the hospice’s grounds has now been cleared (Wednesday, 6 September). The wing will be built by an army of volunteers as a centre for traumatically bereaved children and families.
The DIY SOS show is teaming up with Radio 2 presenters for the flagship project, which will be screened during BBC Children in Need Appeal week in November.
TV’s Nick said as local tradespeople flocked to donate materials and volunteer to help with the build: “It’ll be a blast.”
Jules Kirk, who is the therapeutics services manager at Treetops, said the charity was “absolutely over the moon” to get the new wing.
She said: “Every year we provide over 900 counselling sessions for local children, some as young as seven, who are struggling after the death of a loved one.
“Many of our young clients have experienced unexpected or traumatic bereavements including accidents, suicide and murder.
“This centre will make an immeasurable difference to hundreds of children and their families in our local community.”
Councillor Alex Breene, who is Erewash’s Lead Member for Town Centres, Regeneration and Planning, said:
“The council supports this project wholeheartedly. Treetops does magnificent work and is a fantastic asset to the borough.”