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Survivor J’s story

(continued…)   This went on for 4 years…..

A neighbour heard one of the assaults and called the police. I then asked him to leave. But in that moment I looked around my home and all I could see was the damage he caused and the scars he left. I didn’t know what to do nor did I have the strength to carry on. It wasn’t until my mum saw the Jeremy Vine show, and saw what Naima was trying to achieve with Rebuilding Lives UK. There was help out there. I was scared at first I didn’t know how to reach out. I didn’t understand or believe anyone cared about me because that’s how he made me believe, that I was nothing and worthless. But I took a chance and made that call. Naima was so kind to me on that call and within 2 days she came to my home. It was her reaction to my home that made me start to believe, the truth! It wasn’t my fault and what he did was wrong.

She employed a female plasterer, Jess at first to come in and with the help of a famous celebrity between them all they helped with the first part of rebuilding my home. I saw the memories disappear with plaster, the walls that once reminded me of the abuse the ones that would break me every day. They became a memory of kindness. It would make me smile seeing pink plaster on the walls. I would talk to Naima and Jess, and they helped me feel like me again. I started to get involved with helping them, I even picked up a drill for the first time and I felt so empowered by this.

I then started to buy skirting board as I wanted to help too. It became a joint effort and it felt good, it made me feel strong.

The other part of this journey for me is, I used to sing. I travelled the world. It was my career. I even toured with Don Mclean. I love singing, it’s when I come alive. My ex for 4 years wouldn’t allow me to sing, and since Rebuilding Lives UK came into my life, I picked up my guitar and started to sing again.

I smile everyday now, because I feel happy. So many companies have got involved to help, British Gypsum, Dulux, Jewson, Malkovits, Buxton builders supplies, Howdens timber, P&l joinery Ltd, Howarth timber.

And now 6 joiners and DIYers are coming into finish my home, 2 of whom are from Bandofbuilders and DIYSOS.

They are all helping me to have my home back for Christmas.

I will be forever grateful to Naima for helping me to do this, and will always be supporting Rebuilding Lives UK, they literally saved my life.

Below you can view the before and after pictures of how Rebuilding Lives UK
repaired the house which became a home once again.


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Rebuilding Lives UK – Statement

Upon arriving at our beneficiary’s house there were clear signs of violence and destruction, mainly to the upstairs of the property.  While talking to our survivor she said that she had agreed to let her partner decorate her home, at his insistence, and that a fresh lick of paint was the plan. To her horror and despair, her partner began to pull her home apart. He scratched the walls, ripped out her built-in cupboards, pulled up all the flooring and removed plaster from the walls and took away the bedroom doors.  He threw away flooring and furnishings without her permission. He caused a severe amount of damage to the property that he did not discuss with her and she did not have the money to fix. Worse still, he made her home unsafe by leaving holes in the floor and removing the stair bannister and railing from the landing.  Whenever she tried to ask him to stop he became aggressive. It was all another step in his tightening of control.

Our first step in helping rebuild was to ensure the electrics were safe, having been tampered with by her unqualified ex-partner. Once the electrics had been fixed, and earthed, by a qualified electrician we could begin to plaster her home. Our plasterer Jess began the process of plaster boarding and skimming and Naima helped on numerous occasions plastering alongside her and labouring..

This process was most generously was in part funded by a famous celebrity. They themselves support, Rebuilding Lives UK and this particular project helped raise further awareness and we had many people offering their aid and skills. Our big thanks also go to British Gypsum who donated all plastering materials!

In one of the bedrooms the entire floor had been ripped up leaving only the exposed joists.  Our thanks to Rebekeh of Whittingham Building, who gave her time to help Jess raise the floor and board it ready for the joiners!

Our survivor’s retired neighbours were readily on hand to help too!  They fitted flooring and skirting boards in her bathroom whilst we were plastering other areas.  Two lovely gentlemen (and a comedy duo!).

Once the plastering was complete we could then move on to laying new flooring and fitting door casings and skirting boards as well as the all important stair bannister and railing.  The new doors were kindly donated by Howdens, who’s local staff member Andy worked really hard to organise the donation and delivery, as well as putting us in touch with Newfields Timber who helped with floorboards!  A big thank you too to Howarth Timber who also supplied materials, especially Scott for organising everything and Dom for delivering!

Mike from P&J Joinery Ltd donated the stair case.

All joinery work was then carried out by a team of wonderful volunteers who gave up their weekend and put in some long shifts to get everything laid and fitted! What a difference!  A huge thank you to me Jake Anderson from Lodestone Carpentry, Ady Clarke, Mick Allen, Alan Bancroft , Adam Simmonds, Shmail Shahid and Robert and of course our Naima Ben-Moussa. A massive effort by big hearts. They are not strangers to helping others either and a few also volunteer their time for DIYSOS and Band of Brothers charity. Naima herself made time, between the running of the charity and enlisting help securing labour, security camera, materials deliveries to be also on hand and on the tools and laying the floor alongside them.

With our thanks to Dulux for donating paint our survivor is now cracking on with decorating her new home!  It is really important to us that our beneficiaries are involved in every step of rebuilding.  When someone has been under the coercion and control of another it is vital that we make sure our survivors are back in control of their environment. Our lady had discussions with Jess about exposing some original beams and an upright joist. She paid for some of the electrical work that went further than our mission to to repair damage caused by an abuser. She also bought some materials herself and chose to get involved with laying her own flooring after finding our volunteers were thrilled to teach her!

The generous volunteers

and below are the fantastic results of all the work....

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