‘I’m still in shock’ - DIY SOS-style efforts from charity transform home of man with rare condition

The volunteers working for Band Of Builders in Norwich this week complete the project on Chris Joy's

The volunteers working for Band Of Builders in Norwich this week complete the project on Chris Joy's home. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A man with a rare condition has been left overjoyed with the “unbelievable” transformation of his home thanks to the DIY SOS-style efforts from a charity.

The volunteers working for Band Of Builders in Norwich this week complete the project on Chris Joy's

The volunteers working for Band Of Builders in Norwich this week complete the project on Chris Joy's home. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Chris Joy, from Cringleford, said he started to “deteriorate rapidly” after feeling light-headed at work in July 2016.

Two years later, doctors diagnosed the 41-year-old plasterer with the rare neurological condition Cerebellar Ataxia.

The volunteers working for Band Of Builders in Norwich this week complete the project on Chris Joy's

The volunteers working for Band Of Builders in Norwich this week complete the project on Chris Joy's home. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Earlier this year, Mr Joy applied to have improvements made to his home by the charity Band of Builders.

The charity helps members of the UK construction industry battling illness or injury by taking on practical projects.

The volunteers working for Band Of Builders in Norwich this week complete the project on Chris Joy's

The volunteers working for Band Of Builders in Norwich this week complete the project on Chris Joy's home. - Credit: Sonya Duncan


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Mr Joy’s symptoms include a loss of coordination, double vision, balance issues, speech issues and tinnitus and he has to use a wheelchair 50pc of the time.

As a result, Mr Joy wanted a revamped driveway for better wheelchair access.

The volunteers working for Band Of Builders in Norwich this week complete the project on Chris Joy's

The volunteers working for Band Of Builders in Norwich this week complete the project on Chris Joy's home. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

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Mr Joy said: “I was given the OK by Band of Builders really quickly. To find out we were successful was a huge surprise and for it to actually happen was an even bigger surprise.”

Work began on Mr Joy’s home on Saturday October, 10 and was completed just eight days later on Sunday October,18.

The volunteers working for Band Of Builders in Norwich this week complete the project on Chris Joy's

The volunteers working for Band Of Builders in Norwich this week complete the project on Chris Joy's home. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Around 22 volunteers from across the country, from builder to electricians, were involved in the project.

As well as revamping the driveway, they landscaped the paths to the side and install a new lowered entrance door to allow wheelchair access to the property.

The volunteers working for Band Of Builders in Norwich this week complete the project on Chris Joy's

The volunteers working for Band Of Builders in Norwich this week complete the project on Chris Joy's home. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Mr Joy said: “It is unbelievable and I am still in shock really. We lived here the whole time and I would see little things unfolding. But what they have managed to do in time they’ve done it is incredible.

“It will make a huge difference to me and will give me so much independence back. It is by far the biggest transformation we’ve ever had and it is absolutely fantastic.

“The recognition Band of Builders get is so deserved. They really are unlike anything else. The volunteers come from far and wide and we really can’t thank them enough. The words don’t exist. It was a huge and amazing effort.”

For more information on Band of Builders visit www.bandofbuilders.org

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