Image credits: BBC

Five railway workers based in York and Leeds have volunteered their time to build new facilities for St Michael’s Youth Project in Hull as part of the BBC’s DIY SOS: The Big Build programme for Children in Need.

The special programme which airs tonight (Tuesday, 16 November) at 21:00 on BBC One, sees presenter Rhod Gilbert and the DIY: SOS team coordinate over 120 volunteers a day to create a new adventure playground for St Michael’s Youth Project which receives funding from BBC Children in Need.

The charity works with children and young people in Hull and the surrounding areas to deliver activities which improve children and young people’s emotional and physical health and wellbeing whilst supporting them to build their confidence and self-esteem. The work helps raise their aspirations for the future and encourages them to reach their potential.

Taking part in the project are Ashley Frankland, Gary Fairbank, Alan Hartley, Steve Tudor, Connor Walker and Dan Barnett who all work for Network Rail’s buildings team. The five colleagues volunteered their time to get involved in the project, which saw an empty field transformed into a purpose-built camping facility, providing the charity with much needed facilities to do their vital work.

Network Rail also donated 100 spare railway sleepers to support the construction of an outdoor kitchen, nature classroom, toilet and shower block, bird watching tower, a landscaped firepit area with pizza oven and storage for bikes and camping equipment.

Ashley Frankland, who works for Network Rail and volunteered on the project, said: “I’m really proud of what we managed to achieve in just ten days. I have family ties in this area, so it was great to be able to get hands on and contribute to a project which will make a real difference to children and young people in the area.”

Jo Lorenz, Project Lead at St Michael’s Youth Project said: “We can’t really put into words how incredible what DIY SOS and all of the volunteers and tradespeople have done for us. This new adventure campsite is going to benefit so many children and young people across Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire and make a huge difference to their lives. A huge thank you to everyone who has helped.”

St Mike’s has been receiving funding from BBC Children in Need for several years. A three-year grant of £64,012 is currently being used to deliver The Eating Table project which delivers weekly activity sessions based around food and healthy eating for children and young people and their families, which aim to help prevent hunger and encourage a positive relationship with food.

Network Rail is committed to enabling it’s employees to take part in volunteering schemes. To help make this possible, all of our people are entitled to up to five days’ volunteer leave to help UK registered charities and support community engagement activity.