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Family thanks Accrington business network for perfect home transformation

BNI Zeus members clubbed together to help six-year-old Neave Evans

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From left: Jan, Maxine and Neave Evans with members of business group BNI Zeus who combined their skills to create a perfect house for Great Harwood six-year-old Neave's special needs

A business networking group clubbed together to create the perfect house to meet a six-year-old’s special needs.

Neave Evans, from Great Harwood, has quadriplegic, spastic, cerebral palsy, requires 24-hour care, and is completely reliant on others for all her needs.

Shortly after they moved to the area four years ago, her father Jan joined a local business group to help his firm Jets GPS, which provides vehicle tracking and fleet management systems.

Members of Accrington’s BNI Zeus ‘chapter’, who meet for breakfast every Wednesday at the Globe Centre, have now combined to transform the family home.

The work doubled the floor space of the Lynfield Road house to give accessible ground floor living for Neave and an additional bedroom above to allow for a future overnight carer.

A new ramp provides wheelchair access to the house, utility room for Neave’s extra laundry requirements, and ground floor bedroom, meaning she no longer needs to be carried upstairs. A hoist now carries her into a wet room and a specialist bath allows her parents to wash her and shower her safely.

Jan, whose wife Maxine cares full time for White Ash school pupil Neave and her sister Frankie, three, said the build has ‘transformed’ family life.

He said: “Both our backs were in bad shape from lifting Neave everywhere for six years. I fell down the stairs once carrying her so she is now safe on the ground floor. It is a major issue if Maxine or I are incapacitated.

“She has sensory lights and sounds in her bedroom, which she loves, and she can be safely transported to her bathroom to wash.

“The bath is height-adjustable, has power jets for hydrotherapy and a shower mat that sits on top so she can now be washed safely and bath times are fun as well as practical.

“We had to relocate the kitchen to allow access to Neave’s extension and we now have a family space where Neave can sit in her wheelchair and join us at mealtimes.”

The family thanked the firms involved, including Links Architects, R Stinson Ltd, Pegasus Gas & Plumbing, Uttley Electrical, Connected Smart, Clitheroe Blinds and Pendle View Kitchens.

Jan added: “We can function like more of a family now, knowing Neave is safe and we have less chance of harming ourselves carrying her.

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“I cannot thank the members of my BNI group enough.”