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Frome garden designer changes family’s life during DIY SOS

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Abigail with the DIY SOS team.

FROME garden designer, Abigail Hazell, was chosen to transform a family’s garden in Weston-Super-Mare as part of the BBC show ‘DIY SOS’. 

The Sweet family, mum Cat, dad Chris and their children, Louisa, Max and Harry, were taken out of their home for nine days to allow the DIY SOS team in to transform their house and garden.

Harry, aged six, has Ehlers Danlos syndrome and Louisa, aged 12, and Max, aged nine, have both been diagnosed with Friedreich’s Ataxia, so alterations were needed to allow wheelchair access.

Frome based garden designer, Abigail Hazell was asked to design the family a new garden.

Abigail said, “I’ve lived in Frome since 2017, having moved from London,  but I’ve been a garden designer for 8 years. 

“I was asked to take part in the show back in January  and then spent a month working on the design and sourcing prior to filming, which started on Tuesday 19th March. The reveal day for the family was Thursday 28th March.

“The show is due to air in around 3-6 months, as they are filming the whole series first. However, it will be part of the 20th anniversary series. 

“I love the series so I jumped at the chance to work on it as soon as I was asked. To help out such a family in need and help make their life easier was an honour. 

“Normally with a garden build I would do site visits once a week, but I also took on the role of foreman onsite to manage the build too, ensuring everyone was organised and had the materials they needed, I did get my hands dirty too!

“I have never worked on a site like it – over 300 trade people, working with a team of volunteers, who just worked so hard altogether in harmony. 

“It was a fast-paced nine days total build and the house was gutted and the people who were working were just incredible – nothing was a problem, however hard the graft was. 

“As part of the garden we had to raise the level of the back garden by 20cm to ensure flat wheelchair access, and nearly 20 tonnes of hardcore and topsoil were  wheelbarrowed to the back of the house.

“Working alongside so many different trades all working at the same time, it’s not normal at all, but the atmosphere on site was so positive and everyone worked around each other with a smile.

“The DIY SOS team were brilliant, there might be a perception that they just float in to present, but they are onsite grafting, the production team were amazing, sourcing the extra materials we needed fast and with a smile.

“It really felt like a big working family! It’s been emotional, exhausting but a wonderful experience working with so many trades people who have given up their time.”

To see more of Abi’s work, visit www.abigailhazell.com. Details of the air date of the episode will be given in a future issue.

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