A Longfield family which appeared on a popular TV show has spoken about how amazing the experience was and how lucky they feel.
The transformation of Scott Russell and Jenny Watts’s house in Hartley Bottom Road was featured on BBC One’s DIY SOS on Wednesday 3rd June.
They were chosen for the programme as their son Charlie is severely disabled and they were struggling in their small end-of-terrace home.
Jenny gave up work to provide round-the-clock care for Charlie but the family faced not being able to keep him at home as carrying him up the stairs was becoming a daily battle. Their two other boys Bradley, 19, and Danny, 18, were also crammed into converted attic rooms.
While the family stayed at Demelza Hospice Care for Children in Sittingbourne, where 13-year-old Charlie is a service user, a team of dozens of local tradesmen worked with the DIY SOS crew to transform their home.
In what was the show’s biggest build ever on an individual house, Nick Knowles and the team rebuilt the whole of the downstairs and remodelled the rest of the house to make it more suitable and enable Charlie to stay at home with his family.
They added an extension which means Charlie now has his own downstairs bedroom and connecting bathroom. The team also added ramps to the outside of the house for wheelchair access, widened doorways inside so he can access all rooms easily and completely revamped the rest of the house.
In an emotional ending to the show, the family was almost lost for words to thank all the people who had helped – and after 22 years together, 42-year-old Scott got down on one knee and proposed to Jenny.
The couple will be getting married in August.
Jenny, 38, said: “The house is beautiful – we feel very lucky.
“Demelza put us up while the work was being done and we loved our stay with them.
“Having the house done now is a huge relief. You really don’t know how you’ve coped before once you have the right equipment.
“The biggest change has not been having to carry Charlie upstairs and being able to bath him so easily with the hoist – and actually having the same bath we use at Demelza.
“It’s been an amazing experience and through it we made new friends. We are eternally grateful to everyone who made it possible.”