A woman who suffers from a number of conditions – which will ultimately see her needing the use of a wheelchair – has thanked Band of Builders after our volunteers installed a new wet room at her home near Plymouth so that she can regain her dignity and shower twice a day to help relieve the pain of her symptoms.
Audra Mitcheson-Soley suffers from hypermobility, connective tissue disease, arteriosclerosis, bruits and a dilated aorta – and needed help from her husband Drew to get in and out of the old bath.
A team of six tradespeople from as far afield as Birmingham volunteered their time on the eight-day project – our 25th – to transform the bathroom into a wet room.
A thrilled Audra said that when she saw her new wet room for the first time, it was like opening the best present ever.
“The Band of Builders team are the most incredible people I have ever met, and it’s been like having family working on my home,” said Audra.
“The new wet room will give me my dignity back, as I won’t be reliant on my husband to help me in and out of the bath to help me relieve the pain of my symptoms.
“I can’t thank Band of Builders enough for what they have done, and I’m especially in awe of the fact that the team of volunteers included Tracey, a female tradesperson – what a fantastic role model she is.”
Audra is a former West End child actress and dancer who has worked with the likes of Sam Mendes, Martin Clunes, Lionel Blair and Catherine Zeta-Jones – in a career that spans nearly five decades.
She has very flexible joints, which as a child meant she was a supple dancer and actress. Her professional career started at the tender age of five years old, and by 11 years old she was headlining the first child stage production of Bugsy Malone at Her Majesty's Theatre in London. Audra continued to work in the West End and on various UK tours. Most recently, she did the voiceover for the Ukraine Helpers charity film short.
Audra is very grateful that she was eligible for the help from the registered charity, which completes practical projects to help members of the UK construction industry who are battling illness or injury, because husband Drew is a time-served carpenter.
This is the 25th project that Band of Builders has completed and the ninth one that Project Lead Kevin Choat – a Cambridgeshire-based tradesperson who specialises in accessible bathrooms – has been involved in.
Kevin said that the project had its challenges, which only became clear once they had ripped the old bathroom out and found a catalogue of poor workmanship from when an extension was built some years ago.
“It wouldn’t be a BoB project if there weren’t problems that we unearthed along the way, but, as always, we overcame them and worked as a team to create an accessible bathroom that will meet Audra’s immediate and future needs,” said Kevin. “And, judging by her reaction, it was a job well done by the team, including Matt, Tracey, Simon, Paul and Floyd.
“It’s so important that the construction community looks after one another, and I know all the volunteers on this project saw it as a privilege to be able to do something that will make Audra’s life better.”
This was our 25th project to date and was only made possible thanks to our more than 10,000 supporters from across the construction industry. We are backed by major names within the industry, including DEWALT, Jewson, Gibbs & Dandy, V12 Footwear, Talasey, Resideo and Haemmerlin.