DIY SOS and Formica Group changing the lives of Children in Need

BBC Children in Need provides grants to projects in the UK with a focus on empowering disadvantaged children. The charity makes a real difference to the lives of children and young people by changing the environment they live in. The grant programme believes every child in the UK should have a safe, happy and secure environment to live in as a foundation for them to reach their full potential.

DIY SOS: The Big Build worked alongside Children in Need on a project to create a better living environment for teenagers in a foster care home in Swansea. Having dilapidated over time, the project involved the transformation of an old fashioned and uninviting foster home into a pleasant and welcoming environment. With only 12 days to demolish and rebuild the premises, Formica Group offered its support by providing much needed surfacing for the building’s exterior.

Careful consideration was given to the design of the new build so that its aesthetic integrated into the surrounding residential environment. From the front, the timber frame of the 364m2 premises is inconspicuous among its neighbouring homes, however, architect Tom Russell, from the Emmett Russell Foundation, did reserve a special feature for the children in the back of the building.

Gordon Whistance, Production Designer for DIY SOS comments:

“We added something a little special to the project by creating a colourful terrace with a 2m overhang where only the children can go – their secret place if you will. It’s like nothing we’ve done before”.

To establish the tranquil space, two shades of blue from the VIVIX® by Formica Group exterior cladding range were used, Grotto and Maui.

The wide range of colours, ease of application, large sheet sizes, durability and stain resistant qualities of VIVIX® panels made it ideal for the project. Gordon continues:

“The care home needed to feature contemporary but cool colours. With the compact laminate being applied to the care home exterior surrounded by a timber frame, aesthetic was carefully considered more than may be apparent on the first viewing of the final build.”

“The timber, painted in yellow, will turn to a silver hue overtime so we intentionally juxtaposed the blue tones against the frame to complement the eventual transition. For visual consistency we even matched the colour of the screw fixings to the compact laminate sheets”.

The close attention to detail by the DIY SOS team on the foster care home, with its area designated specifically for the teenagers it houses, is a contributing step to the groundwork necessary to providing them with a brighter future.