Jim's Project

The Objective

Roofing contractor Jim Gallacher fell eight metres from scaffolding in a freak accident in April 2023 and broke his back and neck.

Although he has confounded medical experts with the way he has defied the odds, he has been told in no uncertain terms that he will never be able to lift anything heavy or work at height – and any slip or trip could result in him being in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

Sadly, Jim’s business is currently being liquidated, as he has not been able to work and has had to pass on contracts that he built up over many years with well-known retailers to other firms.

Four years ago, 53-year-old Jim (who is also an experienced brickie) moved into his current home with wife Debbie, and he had started work on digging the foundations and building a porch at the front of the house and an extension at the back. Work stopped and Debbie reached out for help.

The Background

Jim Gallacher from North Lanarkshire built a small, prosperous roofing business over a number of years and secured contracts with national retailers for flat roof work.

He was working with his team on a project in Bristol in April 2023 and was on the roof when he started to make his way back down a ladder that was within the scaffolding. In a freak accident, the pocket of his trousers snagged on a safety clip, meaning that he missed the first rung of the ladder going down. He fell and landed on an Armco barrier on the floor.

As well as dialling 999, his colleagues flagged down a passing ambulance to summon help, and he was rushed to A&E. He had broken his back and neck. He had also broken his collarbone and three ribs. He was in intensive care for six days and had surgery on his spine, with two rods inserted.

Jim was in hospital in Bristol for six weeks, and wife Debbie travelled down as often as she could to see him- before he was allowed home. He was in a collar for 13 weeks and under the care of the spinal injuries team at Glasgow hospital. He has subsequently had CT and MRI scans, which suggest he also has nerve damage as a result of the fall.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the accident and found there was no negligence – which has left Jim unable to make any insurance claim, and he did not have keyman insurance.

The Project

The front of Jim and Debbie’s house and garden is a building site.

Jim had dug out the foundations, installed the drainage and got the brick and block work to waist height – but it’s been left abandoned with materials and uneven ground.

The entrance to the front door is via a sloping catwalk board to an unfinished porch floor with a gazebo above it, which is low, and anyone entering the house needs to duck down to go in the door.

This project will be to complete the porch (and possibly some hard landscaping to improve the access) as per the original application for support.

Get Involved!

To register your interest, please complete the form below or email projects@bandofbuilders.org

You can also support the project by donating via our donation page.

Key Dates:

The project will start in early August in Bellshill, North Lanarkshire.

Trades Required:

Brickies, roofers, landscapers and carpenters.

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