“We feel privileged to play a role in helping to create a dream home for deserving families around the country.” Marketing & Development Director of the Chadwicks Group, Tara Brennan talks to Emer Kelly about the company’s involvement with DIY SOS; The Big Build.
Emer Kelly: Why did Chadwicks decide to become involved with DIY SOS?
Tara Brennan: As Ireland’s leading builders’ merchants, with over 50 branches nationwide, community is at the heart of our brand. We are passionate about creating positive change in the communities we operate in and understand the importance of supporting local communities and families in need.
Last year we announced a long-term charity partnership with Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA), which involves making homes and IWA community centres more accessible for wheelchair users. Our partnership with DIY SOS: The Big Build aligns with the work we are already doing in this regard. We are delighted to be involved in the show as the exclusive building materials supplier and it has been a privilege to offer both expertise and assistance for the various builds.
Over the course of the series, we have provided a selection of materials including doors and floors, insulation, plasterboard,paint supplies, roof windows, steel, timber and hardwood to name but a few.
EK: How would you describe the overall experience of the show? It must be incredible to be in a position to help people in need…
TB: The experience has been incredibly humbling for everyone involved. We are proud of the Chadwicks team for showcasing their commitment to Irish communities, they have been on hand at every step of the way to help Baz and the crew transform each home to cater for the families’ individual needs.
While we are all busy with our everyday activities, DIY SOS has given us the opportunity to take some time out and reflect on what is really important. The comradery between Chadwicks’ support office, our local branches and our suppliers has been an uplifting experience. Our industry is under huge pressure in terms of labour shortages, materials pricing and much more.
However, everyone involved, from suppliers to volunteers, have put that behind them to ensure that the families get the support they so desperately need. Along with supplying materials, colleagues from across Chadwicks Group have volunteered their personal time, carrying out all sorts of tasks from carpentry to gardening.
Throughout the series, other Chadwicks Group businesses have also got involved and supplied materials. The Panelling Centre has installed a number of kitchens all of which are wheelchair accessible, Proline has delivered a lot of the hardware, in particular the fixtures required for fire rated doors. Morgans Timber has supplied specialised products including the materials for the dream castle in Longwood and the beautiful iroko timber for the outdoor seating area in Santry.
There has been a range of plant hire requirements from diggers to lighting which our SAM hire team have arranged. This positivity has really shone through with a unanimous decision from all parties agreeing to carry on the partnership into season three.
EK:With a nine-day timeline, it is a very quick turnaround. When you get to see the show on the television, it must be an incredible experience to look back on. What is that like, knowing that you have helped a family/families in such an amazing way?
TB: With community at the heart of the Chadwicks ethos, we feel privileged to play a role in helping to create a dream home for deserving families around the country. From speaking to the Chadwicks teams involved, we know that spending nine days onsite can be very busy with managing the build and last-minute requests.
During this time, the teams are also working with their regular customers, so it can be a challenge, but we know that everyone has found it to be an incredibly rewarding experience. To date, we have had five Chadwicks branches involved with local builds, Santry, Kilkenny, Waterford, Robinhood Road and Roscommon, and each of these had very different requirements. For example, the build in Kilkenny was a greenfield site which took a huge team effort to complete in just nine days.
There is a different atmosphere in-branch throughout the build. Colleagues are busier than usual, everyone is excited to be chatting to customers about the program and when it will be on TV, there is a lovely buzz around the place. Having said that, the most rewarding part of the build is ‘reveal day,’ when our colleagues get to meet the family and understand the impact of their involvement has had. I think it’s fair to say that everyone has been moved to tears on those days.
EK: Are you looking forward to being involved in season three of the show?
TB: We are thrilled to continue this partnership and are already knee deep in season three. The first build in Athlone is already completed and works are underway in Cork.
DIY SOS has gained national acclaim for delivering inspiring home renovations to families in need, and the families involved in the new season are incredibly deserving. Each season brings together an army of volunteer builders, labourers, tradespeople, suppliers, friends and neighbours to lend their support to local families, and we are looking forward to seeing the impact that DIY SOS will have on their quality of life and certainty for the future.
EK:Have you anything else that you would like to add?
TB: We would like to say a big thank you to all our colleagues who have given up their time to volunteer during the builds. As I said previously, Chadwicks is all about the local community and DIY SOS: The Big Build really is the definition of community spirit. Watching so many people come together to give local families the home they deserve is truly amazing.