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Safespaces Support BBC’s ‘DIY SOS – The Big Build’

A Loving Family in Need of Support  

Gareth and Mary live with their three children just north of Morpeth in Northumberland. Their 18-year-old daughter Bobbie has complex medical and mental health needs that require constant care. Mary has suffered a stroke and has ongoing issues with her balance and needs support to look after Bobbie. Grandmother Carol supports Mary but now has to also look after great-grandmother Doreen, who has early-stage dementia. Bobbie’s older sister Ellie (20) and twin brother, Gus (18) are young carers to both sister and mother. This loving family rely heavily on each other and need a house that is safe and that can enable them to all live under one roof. In 2020, upon hearing about their plight, The ‘DIY SOS – The Build Build’ team jumped in to help.. and exciting plans for the house transformation began.

The Safespace –  Promoting Inclusion in the Home   

Bobbie has had a Safespace since 2019 to support a range of complex needs. A Safespace is a multi use sleep and relaxation room that is suitable for adults and children and can be used in a range of environments such as the family home, school, hospital, and care settings. A Safespace can be used to support safe sleep or as a high or low sensory space. Each Safespace is custom designed and made to meet the often complete needs of the user/ users and also to meet the requirements of the room that it is being installed into.    

A key element of ‘The Big Build’ was to move Bobbie’s Safespace into a room that connects to the communal kitchen/ diner area. This was to promote inclusion and to support the whole family to be together whilst providing a safe sanctuary for Bobbie to retreat to when she needed to. As the BBC were moving Bobbie’s custom made Safespace into a different room, our expert team were on hand to ensure that the new space would be safe and appropriate and would meet Bobbie’s needs.  

The Safespace Voyager – Supporting Transition

The BBC began this incredible home transformation in 2020 but due to the Covid pandemic, the family had to wait another 2 years for the build to resume. Throughout this process, the Owen family had to cope with disruption and delays and temporarily moved into a family member’s home and so we provided them with a ‘Safespace Voyager’ bed to support Bobbie through this transition. A Safespace Voyager is for people who need a low stimulation, safe environment for sleeping in. Often, if a person using the Voyager travel bed has a Safespaces product already, they will find the transition to other accommodation easier using a Voyager due to the familiarity of the product. The Voyager, incorporating many design features of the Safespace, will feel familiar to Safespace users, providing a sense of security and continuity.

Funding and Support

We supported the Owen family in 2019 to access funding for Bobbie’s Safespace and over 90% of Safespaces products in the UK are funded.*(2021) Safespaces are a family run business and our support team, warehouse and factory all operate from our base in Todmorden, West Yorkshire. We provide wrap-around support for everyone that contacts us and we work hard to ensure that every person that would benefit from one of our products can access the equipment they need. We provide a range of support and guidance, as well as a range of helpful resources. We work hard to provide families and professionals with the information and support that they need, by offering/providing assessments, product demonstrations and training.

The Big Build – Keeping Families Together

When ‘The Big Build’ finally commenced in 2022, It was an incredible experience to witness hundreds of people volunteer their time and resources and completely transform the Owens home in only 9 days. As part of our wider offer we provide deep cleaning, relocation and maintenance support for our products and so when The Owens families’ home transformation started again we collected Bobbie’s Safespace and brought it back to our factory for a deep clean. Reinstalling the product into Bobbie’s new space was an absolute joy for us and we were confident that this home transformation would be a safe and appropriate environment for Bobbie and her family. We wish the Owen family all the best and hope they will be very happy in their incredible new home.

Jill Morony – Safespaces Managing Director says:

We are thrilled that this transformation will support four generations of the Owen family to live in the family home together. We hear amazing feedback on a daily basis  from families  who use our products, but it is wonderful to witness how central the Safespace has become in creating an inclusive family life for The Owen family. It’s so rewarding to  see how much Bobbie loves being in her Safespace – either on her own or with other members of her family. We want to encourage families struggling with similar challenging circumstances to  contact us after seeing the life changing support that a Safespace can provide.  We will work hard as always, to support families  to access the equipment they need and deserve.”  

Contact Us! 

For more information or to talk to one of our expert team please contact us:

📞 Phone: 01706 816274

📧 Email: info@safespaces.co.uk.

⏯️ ‘DIY SOS -The Big Build’ Longframlington is available to watch on BBC iplayer

Behind The Scenes! 📸