Band of Builders transform life and home of Newport stroke victim

Band of Builders transform life and home of Newport stroke victim

Volunteer tradespeople from national construction charity Band of Builders completed a three-week project to build a ground-floor extension with a bedroom and bathroom for stroke victim, Keith Parry. 

The family of a stroke victim from Newport have thanked volunteers from national construction charity Band of Builders (BoB), who have built him a ground-floor extension so he can sleep in his own bedroom for the first time in more than two years. 

Keith Parry, 70, has only left his house three times after leaving hospital seven months after suffering a severe stroke in late 2021. The joiner, from Gaer, was only able to return home after his wife had a specialist bed and lifting equipment installed in the lounge of their home. 

But he was left without any privacy or facilities and effectively lived under the stairs in his lounge, prompting the comparison by local healthcare professionals to fantasy character Harry Potter, who had to live in a cupboard under the stairs in the world-famous books.  

In an emotional handover, Keith’s wife Linda thanked the volunteers who built the extension – which includes a bedroom and wet room – as well as all the national and local companies that rallied around by donating everything from materials for the project to food and drinks for the volunteers. 

“What Band of Builders has done will change our lives forever,” she said. “Our gratitude will never be enough – and from the bottom of our hearts we thank all the volunteers who travelled from far and wide to build the extension with a bedroom and bathroom to give Keith his dignity back.

“The work has been of the highest standards and long may Band of Builders continue helping people like us.” 

Keith’s story 

Father-of-three Keith suffered a stroke in an upstairs bedroom at his home in late 2021. Upon dialling 999, his family were told there would be a five-hour wait for an ambulance. Friends and family rallied around, but it still took them 45 minutes to get him down the stairs so he could be driven to his nearest hospital, where a crash team was waiting for him. 

The 70-year-old was thrombolysed to break up blood clots and prevent new clots from forming – but that evening, he suffered a second bleed on the brain, which left him in intensive care for a week.  

The stroke robbed Keith of his speech and mobility. 

In total, Keith spent seven months in different hospitals in South Wales undergoing rehabilitation, and healthcare professionals suggested that he be moved to a nursing home. 

Wife Linda flatly refused and had a hospital bed and lifting equipment installed in the lounge of their home – where Keith has slept ever since. Because their house is at the bottom of a steep bank, his family can’t get him out of the house, so Keith has only been out of the house three times in the last two years. When Keith needs to attend medical appointments, two ambulance crews are required, and often the fire service is on hand to help as well. 

An appeal for help 

Following an appeal from his wife Linda, Band of Builders (BoB) – a registered charity that completes practical projects to help members of the UK construction industry and their families who are battling illness or injury – stepped in to help. It is the 37th project by the charity. 

Nearly 50 tradespeople – including plant workers, bricklayers, builders, roofers, plumbers, electricians and decorators – and other BoB supporters volunteered on the three-week project, which was sponsored by Tarmac Blue Circle. 

Garry Gregory, Packed Products Director at Tarmac Blue Circle commented: “We’re extremely proud to once again be supporting Band of Builders with its latest project for Keith. We hope that this project has brought some comfort to him at this difficult time. The work the team is doing is extremely important for the industry and we look forward to continuing to make an impact with Band Of Builders.” 

BoB’s Operations Director Tony Steel said: “Band of Builders is all about supporting fellow tradespeople who have hit hard times – and we have had an incredible response from tradespeople across the UK who have got involved,” he said. “It goes to show what can be achieved when the industry stands together.

“We would also like to publicly thank all our supporters and suppliers for their donations, time and support to make this project run like clockwork. 

“We hope that Keith and his family can enjoy an improved quality of life – all thanks to our amazing volunteers and supporters.” 

Suppliers and supporters on this project included:

  • Topps Tiles
  • Williams
  • Saint Gobain
  • Jewson
  • Okarno
  • Timco
  • Travis Perkins
  • Celotex
  • Perman Group
  • Triton
  • Weber
  • Visqueen
  • Robert Lee
  • Admiral Group PLC
  • South Wales Concrete Pumping 

For more information about Band of Builders, visit

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