Help floods in for mum after nightmare build

Anne Alwill
Anne Alwill

A mother left devastated by a “nightmare” builder has been overwhelmed by offers of support from neighbours and strangers as she tries to get her home fixed for Christmas.

Anne Alwill made a desperate plea for help through the pages of last week’s Courier after being left with a half-built extension and no sign of her money or completion of the work.

Anne Alwill

Anne Alwill

After eight months and payments totalling £10,000 to the builder she met through friends to carry out the work, she was left with a “water-logged shell” attached to her Woodloes bungalow.

Fearing all the work would have to come down after being filled with flood water, the mum-of-five said she simply had nowhere to turn.

But she said she has since been inundated with “amazing” displays of kindness from neighbours and strangers who have offered help in the run-up to Christmas.

Anne, who lives in the two-bedroom bungalow with her 15-year-old son, said: “I just cannot believe it, people have been so kind.

It is just fantastic, I am overwhelmed and cannot thank everyone enough

Anne Alwill

“Neighbours have come over to say they can offer me storage space and cleaning, or giving time to help.

“And I have had offers from two builders and a plasterer who all may be able to help me get the mess fixed after eight months of this nightmare.

“A builder came round to have a look at the extension while I was at work but we still have to discuss what he can do, and what needs doing.

“It is just fantastic, I am overwhelmed and cannot thank everyone enough. I have been under so much stress and after still have not got any of my money back.

“Things are just very stressful for us all, it is having a real impact on my family.”

The 50-year-old grandmother decided to have the extension built to accommodate her family and provide a place for her 89-year-old mother to stay over Christmas.

The house is now also too unsafe for her young grandchildren to play together in unattended. See video footage of the flooded and half-built extension here.

After paying out £10,000 for work, she said she has receipts for £2,517 worth of materials, and has seen only a small amount of labour to put up walls.

The small extension, which was started in April, still has no roof and insulation and cladding put between bricks is likely to be ruined as a result of being exposed for so long.

Ms Alwill is as still waiting for advice from the council’s building control officers who may say she needs to pull walls down and start again.

She is also waiting for test results to see if breast cancer has returned and is worried what the ongoing stress is doing to her health.

After being told a roof has been ordered back in the spring, she found none of the three companies named had heard of her or her builder.

The family has already paid another specialist to replace tiles on the roof of the house following damage caused.

And the builder, who has not been named as the Courier has been unable to make contact, has not paid back any of the money as promised.

Several people who got in touch with offers of help via the Courier are now due to look at what needs to be done and what replacement or improvement work can be completed in the coming weeks.