TV’s DIY SOS call answered by Hartlepool merchants MKM

TV presenter Nick Knowles (second left) with MKM Building Supplies' Simon Preston (left) and Terry Magill (third left) with DIY SOS crew members Billy the Spark,Chris and Jules and Irish Mark

TV presenter Nick Knowles (second left) with MKM Building Supplies' Simon Preston (left) and Terry Magill (third left) with DIY SOS crew members Billy the Spark,Chris and Jules and Irish Mark

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STAFF at a builders’ merchants helped make a disabled pensioner’s dreams come true by providing gardening equipment for a popular TV make-over show.

MKM Building Supplies, in Peterlee, donated a host of supplies to be used by TV presenter Nick Knowles and his team for BBC1’s DIY SOS: The Big Build programme.

The show enlists the help of local tradesmen and the show’s own crew to transform homes and gardens of those in need.

Workers at MKM, based in Cook Way, on Peterlee’s North West Industrial Estate, leapt into action when the BBC team approached them.

They were called in to help June Finlay, 64, who can barely talk, walk or use her hands due to a condition sparked by pneumonia.

June was reduced to sleeping in a hospital bed in the kitchen, bathing there, and going to the toilet in a commode in the living room.

Her daughter Heather sent three application forms to the show in the desperate hope the team could transform her mum’s home into a disabled-friendly house.

When the DIY SOS crew descended on the North East, they enlisted the help of local tradesmen and suppliers.

The crew and cameramen were regular visitors to MKM’s base throughout the nine days this week that they spent transforming June’s home.

MKM’s company director Simon Preston said: “We predominantly provided materials for the garden design.

“The lady couldn’t get out in the garden for fresh air before.
“We supplied railway sleepers, planters, Astro-Turf, and a pergola to go down the drive.”

Simon said the BBC team visited the shop numerous times over the nine days, sometimes popping in six 
or seven times a day to stock up.

At one point, MKM went above and beyond, when the crew needed bigger railway sleepers, which were not readily available in store. Staff sent a wagon down to near Bishop Auckland to pick some up and deliver it to the site.

When the work was complete, on Thursday, Simon and his business partner Terry Magill, along with other tradesmen, were invited along to the unveiling of the make-over, in Houghton-le-Spring.

Simon said: “It was quite emotional to see the finished product, even Nick was emotional.

“He said he felt the spirit of the North-East people far more than he had experienced elsewhere.

“We are very proud to have been involved, it’s nice to help local people in a disadvantaged position.”

The show will be aired next year.