Parkers donates kitchen for BBC TV's Big Build

Published:  17 June, 2015

In May of this year, the BBC’s DIY SOS team came calling on Parker Kitchens in Tonbridge for their 'Big Build' series. 

Nick Knowles and the team asked for help in the redevelopment of the home of a family in Dartford, Kent with a severely disabled 13-year-old son.

Childhood sweethearts Scott Russell and Jenny Watts first got together at the age of 16 and 22 years later, they are a family of five, the proud parents of three boys. However, Charlie, their youngest son, was born with severe disabilities - Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy and Global Developmental Delay - and needs around-the-clock care, which required Jenny to give up work to provide.

Over the 13 years of Charlie's life the family have struggled with the logistics of a two-up, two-down end-of-terrace home, and Charlie faced the prospect of going into care.

So Nick Knowles, the DIY SOS team and Stephanie Goodfellow of Parker Kitchens (below centre) to the rescue.

Carrying 13-year-old Charlie upstairs to the bathroom and to bed has been a daily battle for dad Scott, and the older boys, Danny and Bradley, have until now been crammed into tiny converted attic rooms. But in the biggest build ever on an individual house, Nick, his on-screen team and DIY SOS resident interior designer Naomi Cleaver set about remodelling the whole of the house, adding an extension with a ramp for easy access, enabling Charlie and his parents to have bedrooms and bathroom downstairs.

As the builders got to work removing interior walls to turn the kitchen and adjoining room into an open plan living space with plenty of wheelchair access, we made best use of our contribution to this extraordinary development with a top-of-the-range Symphony Rockfort kitchen (pictured) in ivory with white premium cabinets and solid oak worktops.

The new kitchen provides a massive open space to enable Charlie to move around freely and a large dining table and seating area has been added to enable him to join the family at meal times. The housing for the tall integrated fridge freezer and a 300mm larder unit were sited under the stairs due to the tight space available. The larder has proved to be great a bonus, used to maximise storage.

The kitchen was too small to take standard curved units so these were specifically designed, and curved pilasters were used to ensure that there were no sharp edges.

A CDA Range cooker was installed within the existing fireplace and chimney breast. The washing machine and integrated dishwasher had to be fitted under the breakfast bar peninsula and pipework and waste had to be run underneath the floor.

The finished result can be seen in the BBC programme, which can be viewed online at www.helpmebuildit.co.uk/DIY-SOS.php.

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