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DIY SOS: Can you answer desperate plea for builders for Big Build

BBC’s Nick Knowles and his team from the flagship show DIY SOS: The Big Build have renewed their appeal for local tradesmen to help transform the home of three disabled children.

Programme-makers filmed the Ratcliffe family's home being torn down earlier this month, and the team will return in October to re-build it in just nine days.

But, just weeks before filming is due to start, the team has still not managed to gather enough builders to complete the task.

VIDEO: DIY SOS: The Big Build was on Sheppey today

Kyle Ratcliffe and his husband of 10 years Garry have four adopted children, each with very complex and life-limiting medical conditions.

The couple, who originally fostered the children, went on to adopt them and open up their home to help them flourish in a safe environment.

Garry works as a head teacher at a primary school in Dartford and Kyle, a former social worker, is now a full-time carer for all four children.

Their eldest son Haydn, 12, has cerebral palsy, is blind in one eye, is tube fed and uses a powered wheelchair full-time.

His younger brother Curtis also has severe cerebral palsy, as well as scoliosis, hip dysplasia, epilepsy and sleep apnoea.

The Ratcliffe family with DIY SOS presenter Nick Knowles

The Ratcliffe family with DIY SOS presenter Nick Knowles

The five-year-old is also blind, tube fed and uses a wheelchair full-time. Their nine-year-old sister Isobella has high-level Down’s syndrome, causing behavioural, learning and communication difficulties.

The youngest sibling, Phoebe, is four and physically perfectly healthy, but she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and night terrors, having been neglected and taken into care as a baby.

The Ratcliffes live in a three-bedroom bungalow, with one bathroom, in Elmley Road, Minster.

When Kyle and Garry adopted Haydn and Curtis in 2013, this was manageable but they were then asked to temporarily foster Isobella and Phoebe.

The DIY SOS team have demolished the home and aim to build a brand new one in nine days

The DIY SOS team demolished the Ratcliffe's family home in Brambledown last month and aims to build a brand new one in nine days

When they learnt the sisters were to be separated, with Phoebe likely to be adopted and Isobella left in care, they decided to adopt both girls to keep them together.

The house is now completely unsuitable, but the Ratcliffes cannot afford the work needed or the time it would take to do it on their own.

Kyle said: “Lots of people we know contacted DIY SOS on our behalf because they knew our situation and we also applied for ourselves. When they told us we had been accepted, I felt numb.

“People think it’s a short process to get onto the programme, but it’s actually a very long, drawn out one. The teams need to get an understanding of the family’s needs and then see how they can help.

The Ratcliffe's family home in Elmley Road was demolished by a digger on Monday

The Ratcliffe's family home in Elmley Road was demolished by a digger on Monday

“I think people just think the family goes away for nine days while the work is being carried out, but that’s not the case.

“We’ve had to move to a friend’s house for eight weeks.”

The 38-year-old added: “We have no idea what the team is going to do, but we are really excited to find out.”

The BBC One series team has put out a fresh appeal today as they look for local tradespeople and suppliers who are willing to be part of this project by donating time and skills, or supplies and materials.

Those interested should email diysossheppey@bbc.co.uk with trade details, availability, telephone contact details and a copy of public liability insurance.

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