VOLUNTEERS cheered with delight as the DIY SOS Big Build for Children in Need was finally completed today.

Nick Knowles and his team of building experts ­— along with hundreds of volunteers ­— helped transform the old St Silas Church Hall into an accommodation block for Blackburn-based charity Nightsafe, over the past two weeks.

The renovation work began on Tuesday, September 3, and was due to be finished last Thursday but the big reveal date had to be pushed back to yesterday following a few setbacks.

Staff and volunteers from Nightsafe finally got to see the result of all the hard work this morning.

Jan Larkin, CEO of Nightsafe, said: “Without Children in Need, we would not be here today.

“They’ve funded us for the last six years and really helped our young people; we’re so grateful to all the volunteers, Children in Need and the DIY SOS team.

“This means everything to us. We’ve waited two weeks while all the wonderful people have been volunteering their time. We are desperately in need of accommodation for 16 to 18-year-olds, and this building will make such a difference to those people’s lives.

“It means somewhere safe for them at the end of the day. The teams from Children in Need and DIY SOS have been wonderful from start to finish ­— we have been so well looked after.

“The accommodation will be in use and open from October 1, and we already have young people ready to move in. It’s going to be fantastic.”

Hundreds of volunteers from the community chipped in to help over the two weeks of the Big Build, with many people bringing food for the hungry crew, including Greggs, Just Eat and Blackburn-based Express Cuisine.

Students from Blackburn Central High School produced a special piece of artwork for the renovation, and tradesmen and women from up and down the country lent their skills to help transform the old church hall into six self-contained rooms.

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Among those who volunteered was Chris Baddeley, from Failsworth. The property maintenance manager said it was the sixth DIY SOS Big Build he has helped on and, in order to stay for the full two weeks, he slept in his van in car parks around Blackburn.

He said: “I first helped on the Veteran’s Village build in Manchester and it gets into your blood and you get addicted to it. The feeling of pride and achievement from changing someone’s life by just giving some of your time is priceless.”

Becky Maynard travelled from Cornwall to volunteer and said she has made friends for life.

She said: “I am a volunteer with Team Rubicon, a disaster response organisation, and I’ve a good relationship with DIY SOS so when I heard they were doing something for Children in Need, who I’m passionate about, I jumped at the chance.

“I was meant to stay five days but stayed the full two weeks. I’ve been camping up at Brocklehead Farm near Darwen. The weather has been pretty bad but it’s been an amazing experience, and seeing the change from when we started to when we finished is incredible.”

Following the reveal, which will be aired on BBC as part of Children in Need in November, presenter Nick Knowles addressed the 400-strong crowd, and offered a huge thanks to all who helped out.

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He said: “You guys have made it possible for Nightsafe to look after those most vulnerable by providing them with the tools to carry on their amazing work.”