National charity Band of Builders has launched a brand new hardship fund to help tradesmen and women affected by the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
The charity, which carries out projects and adaptations to help UK tradespeople and their families affected by illness or disability, has launched the fund to help UK tradespeople and their families left in financial difficulties thanks to COVID.
BoB, as the charity is affectionately known in the construction world, has committed to match every £1 donated by the public all the way up to £10,000, creating an overall fund of £20,000. The cash will then be used to award grants of between £250 and £500 to tradespeople who have been left in financial difficulties thanks to COVID.
Band of Builders chairman Gavin Crane urged people to spare just £1 to ensure that tradesmen and women left unable to pay bills to feed their families can receive much-needed support at such a difficult time.
“We know this is an incredibly difficult time for everyone in the UK and further afield, so we appreciate this is a big ask,” said Gavin. “But for some UK tradespeople, that donation of just £1 could help make all the difference.
“We’ve heard countless tales of people in our industry who have been left struggling due to a combination of restrictions making it hard to work, difficulties due to suffering with COVID themselves, and for some the issues that come with falling through the cracks when it comes to government support.
“We want this fund to provide small but vital grants to those who need it most at this difficult time. It may not seem like much, but for some people a grant of £250 could make all the difference and help them get through the month.
“We’d love to get support from some other key players in the construction industry so we can help even more people and turn any donations we have from the public into a bigger pot of money to help those in need.”
Band of Builders, which was formed in 2016, is a national charity that helps members of the UK construction industry suffering from illness and injury. Its work usually involves practical projects across the country. Past projects include: the installation of a specialised bathroom for an electrician’s daughter suffering from a rare skin condition; landscaping a garden for a builder suffering from Motor Neurone Disease; and creating a new driveway and safe access for a plasterer suffering left wheelchair-bound by a rare neurological condition.
The charity has just announced its next project to help father-of-four Robert Lamb, a surveyor left paralysed after a fall at home. BoB will be carrying out adaptations to Robert’s home in Solihull, where he lives with his three sons, to make it safe and accessible when he returns home from hospital in the new year.
Anyone in the construction industry facing financial hardship is urged to visit the Band of Builders website (www.bandofbuilders.org) for more information on the hardship fund and how to apply.
The fund will provide grants of £250-£500 for eligible UK tradespeople who meet the criteria outlined by Band of Builders and overseen by its board of trustees.
Gavin added: “If you’re a tradesman or woman and you’re struggling, please don’t be afraid to ask for help. Take a look at the website, see if you’re eligible and apply for a grant from the hardship fund. Similarly, if you know someone facing financial difficulties, point them in our direction. There is absolutely no shame in asking for help. We’re here to support our fellow trades so spread the word!”