The BBC’s flagship renovation programme, DIY SOS, enlisted the support of npower and Energy Assets for a special Children in Need programme broadcast yesterday (November 13).
With a little help from Energy Assets’ engineers, host Nick Knowles and his team of DIY enthusiasts, experts and local helpers, turned a parish building in Blackburn into safe accommodation for the area’s young homeless.
The hit BBC show, which is celebrating its 20-year anniversary, initially contacted npower as they supply energy to the building.
“We carried out some initial investigations to understand their requirements before appointing one of our trusted partners,” said Joe Day, Metering Improvement Manager at npower. “We chose Energy Assets, which had the wide range of skills for the job. And they were based 10 minutes up the road, which helped.”
Energy Assets’ engineers assessed the site and then set to work, swapping the old gas meter for a new AMR gas meter. The meter for electricity (which will provide most of the energy for the building) was upgraded to a 3-phase meter – and was fitted as AMR. Smart meters are not available on large gas or 3-phase meters just yet so we chose to fit AMR to give the charity all the benefits we could.
The new accommodation is owned by St Silas church in Blackburn, which agreed to lease the building for internal renovation. The centre will be run by a charity, Nightsafe, which works to alleviate the plight of young people aged 16 – 24 who are homeless or vulnerably housed.
Nightsafe already has a centre providing shelter for people who have nowhere else to go but were desperate for more space to help address the growing homeless problem. Young vulnerable people can stay for up to nine nights, while alternatives are found or they are linked in to other networks.
DIY SOS completed the project at no cost to the church, the charity or the local community. The entire renovation was funded by product donations and volunteers offering their time – all managed by the DIY SOS team, with a little help from npower and Energy Assets.
Said Dave Sing, Group Managing Director (Assets) at Energy Assets: “We were extremely proud to lend our expertise to this project, especially as it was for such a worthy cause. It was inspiring to see so many companies come together to help homeless young people in the Blackburn area.”