DIY: SOS The Big Build previewed the amazing transformation of tonight’s Children In Need special.
A team of volunteers came together to transform a patch of undergrowth into a state-of-the-art camping and outdoor activity center for St Michael’s Youth Project, which provides activities, support and food to hundreds of children in Hull.
The grounds, complete with an expansive playground, woodland bike path, and wood-clad kitchen unit, will give the nonprofit the space it needs to accommodate overnight camping and adventure travel for kids who otherwise feel like it. none could afford.
The special for Children In Need, which airs on BBC1 tonight at 9pm, will be led by comedian Rhod Gilbert after regular presenter Nick Knowles had to miss shooting due to a scheduling conflict with a Shreddies ad. Knowles returns next year to host DIY SOS.
The preview clip shows St. Michael’s worker Jo Lorenz bursting into tears when she first sees the result, as the kids rush to explore the adventure playground.
Emotional: The preview clip shows St. Michael’s worker Jo Lorenz bursting into tears when she sees the result for the first time, as the kids rush to explore the adventure playground
DIY SOS: The Big Build is back! Volunteers gathered to transform a patch of undergrowth (pictured) into a camping and outdoor activity center for St Michael’s Youth Project, which provides activities and support to children across Hull
Bigger is better! The new outdoor center, complete with an expansive playground, pictured woodland bike path and wood-clad kitchen unit, will give the organization, known as St Mike’s, the space it needs to provide camping and adventure travel for kids who want that. wouldn’t want to. otherwise be able to pay. It was completed in just eight days
Guest host: Rhod Gilbert fronts the Children’s In Need special, which airs tonight at 9pm on BB1
Founded over 27 years ago, St Michael’s is open 11 hours a day, five days a week to teens in Orcharc Park and North Hull and offers arts and crafts, dance classes and sports clubs as well as outdoor activities.
It also provides hot meals to the children, an essential service to people in food poverty.
“Many of the parents have two or three jobs to make ends meet, but it’s still not enough,” explains charity worker Rachel.
‘Children come home from school and don’t see their parents. The only people they see after school are us. It’s terrible to think that you have to work two or three jobs to make ends meet and not spend enough time with your kids. You’re in a catch-22. You just can’t win.’
To bring in more kids, youth worker Matt Rogers has set up a weekly bike clinic, encouraging local community children to come and learn how to fix their bikes. It is sometimes the first contact children have with the center and can lead to a lasting relationship.
His dream is to offer children vacations and adventure trips away from the downtown headquarters.
“The value of being outside is enormous,” says Matt. ‘Children can be themselves. They can get away from all the peer pressure, away from the pressures of normal life and just explore, play with sticks, just be themselves.
A view from the stop: This new birdwatching tower is made from recycled oak and is part of the adventure playground. It gives thousands of children the chance to escape the city and experience the countryside
Triumphant: Rhod Gilbert celebrates with St Mike’s workers Matt Rogers and Jo Lorenz, and the kids, after construction
“From the youth worker’s point of view, we get conversations with them that we wouldn’t have anywhere else, but probably more importantly, they have conversations with each other that they wouldn’t have had before.
“We get groups of kids who wouldn’t hang out at home because peer pressure says they wouldn’t. They’re just mixing and matching, which is nice to see.’
A boy named Leland tells Rhod, “I love nature. It’s so quiet, so calm, it’s wonderful.’
The group uses a patch of undergrowth about 20 minutes outside of Hull, which was donated to St. Mike’s in 2019. Matt and a team of volunteers spent three years clearing vegetation, but the lack of sewage, electricity or shelter made a longer stay impossible.
That changed with the help of DIY SOS: The Big Build. In eight days, the team built a stylish kitchen and toilet block, a forest cycle path and an adventure playground.
Life-changing: St. Mike’s workers Matt Rogers and Jo Lorenz, at the front, with some of the kids who will benefit
Community spirit: The fate of St. Mike’s changed with the help of DIY SOS: The Big Build volunteers, pictured. In eight days, the team built a stylish kitchen and toilet block, a bike path and an adventure playground
The entire center, which also includes a large storage area and a separate seating area, is powered by solar energy and is therefore self-sufficient.
St. Mike’s worker Jo Lorenz bursts into tears when shown downtown and says, “This is beyond what we could have dreamed, because we wouldn’t even know where to start.”
Matt adds: ‘Water and flushing a toilet was our dream… This is just amazing.’
Host Rhod fights back tears as Matt and Jo explain how much the new site will mean to the children of St Mike’s.
“It will make those kids feel wanted, instead of moving on,” says Jo. “This is their place.”
DIY: SOS The Big Build, Children In Need special, airs tonight at 9pm on BBC1