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Home Tradesman Insights Who are the Band of Builders and how can you get involved?

Who are the Band of Builders and how can you get involved?

Band of Builders (BoB) is a registered charity that is best known for completing practical projects to help members of the UK construction industry and their families who are battling illness or injury. The charity’s CEO, Gavin Crane, tells Tradesman Saver more about the work that it does – and also more about its annual Big Brew campaign to encourage UK construction industry workers and tradespeople to come together over a cuppa to support one another and remove the taboo around mental health.

Projects

If anything sums up what BoB is all about, it’s the group chats for each of the projects we undertake.

We’ve just completed project number 36 for Glenn in Ledbury – who suffered a brain tumour in 2020 and underwent surgery to save his life. He had a bleed on the brain and spent six months in hospital. The pride and joy garden of the former site manager for a housebuilder had become overgrown because he and his wife could no longer maintain it. So we stepped in to help.

The group chat was electric, and the camaraderie was palpable between all the volunteer tradespeople who were involved. For some, it was their first project, whereas others were BoB veterans. The chat at the end of the project was most poignant. It was clear that they were all touched at seeing what their efforts meant to Glenn when the project was completed. It was also clear that many of the tradespeople had forged new friendships and had a deep sense of satisfaction at what had been achieved.

That’s BoB in a nutshell. Many of our most ardent supporters from our 50,000+ community of volunteers, sponsors and well-wishers would say it’s addictive because working on a BoB project is very special.

It’s been the same since day one – back in 2016, when our founder took to social media to ask for help renovating the home of close friend and colleague Keith Ellick, who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. The incredible response from tradespeople across the UK saw the project completed. It demonstrated what can be achieved when the industry stands together, and the momentum of BoB has grown ever since.

Our next project will be a far bigger one for Keith in Newport, who has only left his house three times in the last two years after suffering a severe stroke in late 2021. The joiner initially spent seven months in hospital and was only able to return home after his wife had a specialist bed and lifting equipment installed in the lounge of their home – but it means he is left without any privacy or facilities. This is why we are set to build a new ground-floor bedroom at Keith’s home this spring, and we are currently recruiting for volunteers – so if any Tradesman Saver members would like to get involved, they can do so at https://bandofbuilders.org/pages/keith-parrys-project.

Band of Builders – Background

Band of Builders was born in 2016 when our founder took to social media to ask for help renovating the home of close friend and colleague Keith Ellick – who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. The incredible response from tradespeople across the UK saw the project completed and demonstrated what can be achieved when the industry stands together.

It has grown to become a registered charity (charity number 1182283) that completes practical projects to help members of the UK construction industry who are battling illness or injury.

In September 2023, Band of Builders won Corporate Partnership of the Year – Small (for its work with Jewson) and CEO Gavin Crane received the Rising Chief Executive Award at the prestigious Third Sector Awards. It also received two highly commended awards for Small Charity of the Year and Small Charity, Big Achiever.

Gavin Crane

As the CEO of Band of Builders, Gavin leads a charity that supports the U.K. construction industry by providing practical assistance, advice, and support to those in need.

All articles by Gavin Crane

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