Life of Huntingdon family transformed by DIY SOS

13:00 10 January 2013

The spacious new kitchen-diner.

The spacious new kitchen-diner.


THE incredible transformation of the Huntingdon home of super-mum Julie Jones was finally revealed on BBC1 last week.

DIY SOS: The Big Build was filmed in Stukeley Meadows last year, after a record number of viewers – including Hunts Post readers – nominated the mum-of-three for the renovation after she selflessly took in her friend’s five orphaned children.

Programme presenter Nick Knowles told The Hunts Post during the whirlwind nine-day project in April last year: “Julie is extraordinary. We are here because I received 50 e-mails to my website and hundreds of applications were sent to the production team – applications from people who don’t even know Julie.”

He praised the generosity of local tradesmen and suppliers – who donated materials and time for free to help transform Julie’s Rydal Close house.

“The suppliers and tradesmen in Huntingdon have been incredibly generous,” he said. “They are all extraordinary people who do an amazing job – we just bring a ball of momentum to the area. This job is being done by local businesses for a local family.”

Single mother Julie Jones became a national news story after she won the Tesco Compassionate Mum of the Year award – as revealed by The Hunts Post in January last year.

DIY SOS team member Chris Frediani said what Julie had done was “amazing”.

He told Nick Knowles during filming: “It takes special people… I take my hat off to her.”

After the big reveal, Julie told the crowd of well-wishers: “We have all got so many special thank yous to say to you guys. You have just made such a huge difference to us as a family.

“I don’t think there are enough thank yous but I would like to say a massive one to everybody: all the builders and tradesmen, all our neighbours and really special friends – you are all fantastic. Thank you so much.”

Nick finished the programme with a tribute to the local community: “People will tell you today that there’s no community left, that it’s just around – not like the old days when there was a proper community. They’re wrong, you know. Over 500 people wrote to us and said: ‘You have to do this, this family needs your help.’ So we came here but there’s only six of us. We asked the community to come and do something and they did… What they have done in nine days has changed this family’s life.”


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