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!