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Rovers rally round for BBC’s DIY SOS in Blackburn

Rovers were well represented throughout the full fortnight of action as the BBC DIY SOS team helped local homeless charity Nightsafe

18 September 2019

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Rovers were well represented throughout the full fortnight of action as the BBC DIY SOS team helped local homeless charity Nightsafe to convert a former Sunday school into an accommodation shelter for six local youngsters.

Hundreds of volunteers worked day and night for two weeks in order to turn the vision into a reality on the show's Children In Need special, which will be shown in November.

However, for those of a blue and white persuasion, they'll have their attentions turned by more than just the presence of well-known presenter-cum-singer Nick Knowles, with the club well represented thanks to the work of a team that included legendary centre half Colin Hendry, numerous club stewards and a sizeable contingent from Blackburn Rovers Community Trust's NCS Seniors group.

The now-adult graduates from the NCS group - which continues to undertake a wide range of volunteering and fundraising on behalf of local good causes - saw this as a task they wanted to undertake, furthering a connection with Nightsafe that stems back over numerous missions, including fundraising on their initial NCS programmes through to donations sourced by the Youth Board graduates and support for the Sleep Out For Blackburn event last November, of which the charity was one of the beneficiaries.

NCS Seniors and Youth Board leader Shannon McLaughlin was at the 'big reveal' as the work concluded on Tuesday, and having listened to Knowles and representatives from Nightsafe expressing their thanks for what the collective has achieved, she added why the young adults from Ewood Park got in on the act.

"It was basically a massive social action project and that's right up the NCS group's street, so I just thought it sounded like a good thing and I'm really glad that we got involved," she explained.

"We've been doing a bit of everything, from gardening through to ripping out walls, making teas or giving out biscuits - literally just anything and everything in order to get involved.

"Doing the garden and delivering the tea and biscuits has definitely been the best bit for me, because we were able to have banter with all the work men and it was quite funny!" McLaughlin will continue to be connected to the site and its appearance for the foreseeable future, having made a suggestion to install a landscaped garden during her fortnight on site.

Having helped to install the plants, thanks to a donation from B&Q, she will continue to tend to them at the site to keep the appearance of the whole facility as welcoming as possible.

TV viewers and the general public will have to wait until BBC One airs the edited show in November to see what the efforts achieved, but Shannon was among those who were privileged enough to work to the end of the re-fit and see the finished product, so she was able to provide an insight into the facility.

"The building looks amazing," she added.

"It's good to know that everyone's hard work and effort has helped to create such a massively important and amazing building that is going to be so important for hundreds of young people for years to come."

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