Northumberland woman’s home transformed by Nick Knowles's DIY SOS team

A mum’s DIY SOS makeover has enabled all four generations of her family to move in together.

By Amanda Bourn
Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 12:03 pm

Mary Owen, who volunteers in the St Oswald’s Hospice shop in Morpeth, recently welcomed Nick Knowles and his team into her Longframlington home.

Her house is hundreds of years old and needed major restoration work. The floors were also on different levels, meaning it was not practical for the family to carry out caring duties and responsibilities.

Mary, 49, said: “The results of the makeover are stunning – the house truly feels like a beautiful home again.

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Mary Owen (front, centre) with her family.

"It’s already proving to work incredibly well for our daughter Bobbie, who has severe disabilities, autism and epilepsy. The home is safer for Bobbie, easier for me to manage as I had a stroke a few years ago, and it means we now have space for my mum and nan to move in with us.

"Nan has been receiving specialist hospice care for over 50 years for lymphoedema in her legs and has developed dementia. She always said she would rather be surrounded by her own family at home rather than be in a care home, and this makeover has meant she can be cared for and supported by her own family.

“The makeover has brought four generations of family back together under one roof. It will truly make life easier for every member of our family.”

Mary had to give up work after she suffered a stroke which led to her volunteering with St Oswald’s Hospice, which she credits with helping her to feel a sense of normality.

The DIY SOS team, with Nick Knowles (centre).

She said: “After having had a long and successful career working in rail, I was feeling pretty down and unable to work due to my condition. I was put into contact with a charity called Momentum, who recommended volunteering with St Oswald’s Hospice.

“It has been a way of restoring some normality in my life and having a break from my caring responsibilities. Volunteering takes me out of myself and makes me feel useful for a few hours.”

Her boss Julie Wilson said: “Mary is so deserving of this home makeover and everyone at St Oswald’s Hospice cannot wait to watch the final results on TV.”

The episode will air on BBC 1 at 8pm on Tuesday, May 31.