With the countdown to Christmas well underway, there will be plenty of feel-good television to watch in the coming weeks, but there is only one programme that is a must watch.
A special DIY SOS was recently filmed in Harlow, Essex, and several Cadent engineers gave up their time to ensure that gas installations were all completed safely. The team were also able to share gas safety messages and provide information about the Priority Services Register.
The programme, which is hosted by Nick Knowles and featured cast members from Albert Square, descended on Harlow to help transform a community project which helps bring people together and improve mental health.
The Eastenders cast members donned their hard hats and joined an army of volunteers, including the team from Cadent, to create a new building for Butterfly Effect Well-Being, enabling the project to offer its services to more people in need of help with issues including social isolation and self-harm.
Network Supervisor Ricky Samuels, who pulled the Cadent volunteering team together, said: “This was a brilliant experience and one that meant so much to all the team who were involved. Everything is so meticulously planned by the production team, and it was a real experience to just watch it all coming together over the few days at the end of October.
“We originally volunteered to help with the gas installation and the producers asked if we could provide a few people every day throughout the build which we were happy to do. It was a great experience and a brilliant use of volunteering days which will make a positive impact to Harlow and the local area.”
Butterfly Effect Well-Being is currently operating out of a portacabin and was in desperate need of the DIY SOS team. The community interest company runs a range of groups, including a men’s meet-up, a singing group and ‘Chill and Chat’ teen sessions, as well as cooking and crafts workshops and holistic therapy classes.
Its founder Angela Hannibal set up the project after losing her mum to suicide. Her mum had struggled for years with poor mental health and after she died, Angela decided to quit her career as a pharmacist to try to help people like her.
The project has been gifted an empty building by the local council, but it’s in a state of disrepair and needs extensive internal and external works to make it fit for purpose.
Speaking at the time of filming, Nick Knowles said: “This is a special project that does so much to help the community in Harlow and I couldn’t wait to get stuck in with our EastEnders friends and see this amazing build come together.
“As always, we wouldn’t be able to deliver such important projects without the generosity of our brilliant volunteers.”
A big well done to Ricky, Richard Davies, Ian Cutts, Paul Goodman, Keeley Adams, Charlotte Randle, Simeon Narraway, Robert Dicks, Martin Skalicky, Ashley Thomson, Nathanael Jones, Nathaniel Latty, and Colette Panter, who all represented Cadent in the programme.
You can watch our fantastic Cadent volunteers on ‘DIY SOS: Eastenders Special’ when it screens on BBC One on Monday 18 December. It will also be available on BBC iPlayer should you miss it live.