A friend of mine was taking part in a local DIY SOS Big Build project in Wallsend.
Crosby Specialist Cleaning who does industrial cleaning and was helping out with cleaning the whole site during and on completion of the project.
When he heard there was a sensory room being built. He immediately thought of me and gave me a shout to see if I was interested.
The project was for a small business called True Colours Theatre founded by a lovely lady named Alisar Jane who’s mission is to create a safe place where kids of all abilities can learn dance and performing arts, after realising that a lot of children with disabilities weren’t accepted into mainstream classes and groups because of their additional needs.
The whole building they use was in desperate need of a refurbishment but it was over £90,000 just for the first stage in building work and it just wasn’t possible for this small team of lovely people who just want to make the place safe and to last, so the future of the building and True Colours wasn’t looking good. That is, until the BBC DIY SOS and they’re amazing team decided to help out.
The DIY SOS team and the help from hundreds of other local businesses, tradesmen and volunteers got together to help and work unpaid, to help out with this amazing venture.
I went to site and met the DIY SOS team, who took a look at my Instagram page and instantly knew they wanted me to create something for the sensory room and were very happy I was keen to offer something.
Luckily two of my suppliers were happy to chip in too, I got some sheet plastic from Bay Plastics LTD and my good friend Martin Chambers of LED Lighting Products LTD was happy to quickly programme some amazing effects in a pixel led strip system.
I had some light sources and optical fibre In stock too so I started to do what I do best, design and create amazing never seen before lighting features with one thing in common… WOW Factor!
Luckily I had just enough time to contribute my time and services and produced a starlight ceiling surrounded by pixel LED clouds.
I threw everything I could Into this with the given time available. There are 600 stars of multiple sizes, two meteors and 9 constellations.
I’ve been looking forward to have the opportunity to show my new constellation designs.
I draw each constellation by hand and use special fibres to create the lines which ‘map out’ the constellation ‘dot to dot’ style.
It’s a very unusual and interesting feature and I’ve not see it done anywhere else.
I also surrounded the panel with LED clouds which give an amazing, continuously changing effect.
The DIY SOS team and I agreed an install date and although this changed a few times due to set backs and unforseen circumstances, we still managed to get in and finish this display on the day before the big reveal!
It’s an amazing thing to witness. The amount of work involved is crazy and every single person involved helped out massively. Whether that’s scaffolders making platforms to work at height and keeping people safe with barriers, labourers making sure the site is tidy and safe and helping all the other trades, all the tradesmen who helped wire, plumb, build, plaster and decorate everything from the ground up, as well as professionals in security, fire detection and network and not forgetting the cleaners who have a hard job cleaning the whole place at the last minute before the big reveal.
Many local businesses and volunteers from the general public kept replenishing water, teas and coffee for everyone hard at work.
It was an amazing community spirit to be part of, I’m throughly happy I took part, especially seeing and hearing the children’s reactions at the reval.
The show is due to air 9pm on 30th August 2023