On Wednesday 13th November at 8pm, BBC1 will be airing a special Children in Need episode of DIY SOS: The Big Build. This episode will focus on renovating St Silas’s Parish Room of St Silas’s Church in Blackburn with Darwen and turning it into a place for young and vulnerable people to call home. This is in support of local charity Nightsafe who have been offering shelter to young, homeless individuals for almost 30 years. Here at Electric Radiators Direct, we wanted to contribute to this fantastic cause in whatever way we could, so when the show appealed for support from volunteers and tradespeople, we were eager to answer the call. We decided to offer up some of our products to ensure that these young people would remain warm and comfortable in this new accommodation.
Who are Nightsafe?
Blackburn-based charity Nightsafe was formed in 1990 by local members of the community with the aim to provide support to homeless and vulnerable people aged 16 – 24. For the past 30 years, this charity has helped over 14,500 young people, delivering not just shelter, but guidance and advice to those who have fallen on hard times. Nightsafe have expanded over the years, from setting up a night shelter on Bridge Street in Blackburn, to opening a day centre in the town’s old electric works. With previous support from BBC Children in Need, Nightsafe have also been able to help with improving life skills and education through their Platform 5 project.
Over the years Blackburn with Darwen has seen an increase in the amount of young people sleeping rough, which is why they need organisations like Nightsafe to offer their help and make a difference. However, the current emergency shelter that Nightsafe has in place is now at full capacity and no longer meets the demand of the young people in the area who are in desperate need of somewhere to stay. In order for this organisation to continue to succeed with their support, they need more space for those vulnerable people, which is why this project is now taking place.
Nightsafe have partnered up with Nick Knowles and his team at DIY SOS for a BBC Children in Need special this year. The goal? To transform a neglected church into safe accommodation for any young, vulnerable people aged 16 -18. The team at DIY SOS were only given nine days to complete this renovation – the same amount of nights young people can stay in Nightsafe’s current accommodation whilst the volunteers help them get back on their feet. This Big Build aims to create another warm and safe place for those in need, with spaces such as a counsel area, lounge, kitchen hub and of course, the accommodation rooms. The DIY SOS team has relied only on product donations and the help of volunteers to ensure no cost to the charity itself or to the local community. Only support from those generous enough to give their time and resources has been required. To us, nothing says safe and secure like the comfort of a warm home, which was why we couldn’t wait to get involved with this life-changing project.
For this Big Build, the DIY SOS team were going to need to install a sophisticated and effective heating system to ensure that those staying in the renovated church hall would benefit from gentle, comforting warmth. We are proud to have collaborated with the BBC on this project and would like to give a special thanks to our partners: Ecostrad, Herschel and Technotherm, who not only provided their expertise and assistance, but also offered up their products for this great cause too. We are also grateful to have been given the opportunity to participate in this wonderful project and hope that Nightsafe can continue to help those in need.
For more information on this project, make sure you tune in to DIY SOS: The Big Build BBC Children in Need special tonight on BBC1 at 8pm.