Chris Chappell (centre) pictured with some of the team from the Band of Builders (Matt Gilley/FPS Images/PA)
A roast dinner is on the menu for the family of a father of seven who is looking forward to cooking again after kind-hearted tradespeople helped install a new kitchen he can use whilst in a wheelchair.
Chris Chappell, a former builder himself, has been left using walking aids and a Motability scooter after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of spinal multiple sclerosis and will need a wheelchair within the next two years.
The condition left Mr Chappell, 44, unable to carry out routine tasks including cooking the Sunday roast for his family – until construction charity Band of Builders stepped in to help.
Chris Chappell in his new kitchen following the construction work (Matt Gilley/FPS Images/PA)
The charity, which helps tradespeople and their families suffering from illness and injury, sent a team of volunteers from across the UK to install the accessible kitchen.
In just a week, the group of eight volunteers transformed the kitchen at Mr Chappell’s home in Torpoint, Plymouth.
They installed a bespoke kitchen donated by AKW Medi-Care Limited with features including a rise-and-fall worktop housing a hob and sink as well as pull down baskets and a pull-out larder which will make it easier for Mr Chappell to use his storage and cupboards.
The kitchen was revealed to the family in an emotional handover attended by many of the volunteers.
Mr Chappell, who has had to give up lots of things he loves, such as coaching a local football team and playing with his children, the youngest of whom is six years old, said he is looking forward to cooking for his family again.
“I was struggling with the old kitchen so I’m just looking forward to being able to get in there and cook a meal – it’ll be a roast with all the trimmings because we’ve missed having one,” he said.
“It’s been getting harder and harder and I haven’t wanted to do one because it was such a struggle. Now this will make it so much easier.”
Mr Chappell, a City & Guilds qualified bricklayer and general builder who was nearing 15 years in the trade, was put in touch with Band of Builders by a fellow Torpoint resident for whom the charity installed a wet room.
Chris Chappell and his wife Dawn (Band of Builders/PA)
He said: “I would never have known about Band of Builders if I hadn’t spoken to her. What they do is just amazing, how many people they’ve helped and all the stuff that they do. We’re just so grateful.”
Band of Builders operations director Tony Steel said: “It’s been a privilege to have helped Chris and his family and know that we’ve done something to future-proof his home as he inevitably has to rely on a wheelchair.
“The local community has been hugely supportive, and the fact Chris heard about us from another beneficiary just goes to show how word can spread and ultimately help us to help more people.”
Band of Builders was supported on the project by construction sector partners including Jewson, Richards Builders Merchants and Palio Trade by Karndean, as well as AKW Medi-Care Limited.
Ashley Bath, from AKW, said: “We’re delighted that we could help provide the kitchen for Chris’ project, which we hope will make a huge difference to his life.
“It’s been great to work with Band of Builders on this project, and we look forward to supporting the charity in its work to help people in the future.”