BUILDERS AND SUPPLIERS CLUB TOGETHER TO SORT LIVERPOOL MAN'S KITCHEN
FOR 2 years single dad Paul Currie has been
struggling to look after his 4 year old daughter, Claudia, in a
house with no proper cooker, no kitchen units, no fridge and no
washing machine… and it looked like that was never going to change.
The 46 year old from Macdonald Road, Wavertree had lost his job and
cash was short. He desperately needed a new kitchen, but he simply
couldn't afford it. Then he spotted an online opportunity and posted
his story as part of Britain's Worst Kitchen competition on MyBuilder.com, the tradesman's website. The prize was a £3000k+
kitchen makeover. Paul made it to the last 12, securing nearly
2000 of the 13000 votes cast overall in the competition, but sadly
in the end he didn't win. He was devastated as were his friends and
family. The website team felt strongly about Paul too and
decided they couldn't just walk away. Having put aside some
additional cash, they linked up with some of their local tradesmen
and local building suppliers and pretty soon a runner up kitchen
plan had been put in place.
Last week Paul used his new kitchen for the first time, thanks to
some big hearted tradesmen and suppliers. How did Paul get into
trouble with his kitchen in the first place?
At the root of Paul's problems lies his mental health, which led to
a family breakup and unemployment. Trained as a journalist,
Paul is dogged by a long term form of depression called Dysthymia.
It's hard to understand if you don't suffer from it, but the illness
saps you of all confidence and motivation. It also causes anxiety
and the smallest of hitches can create great distress.
Financial worries caused by unemployment led to tensions in Paul's
relationship and eventually he had to leave the house he was sharing
with his partner and the mother of his young daughter. Paul
Currie said that:- "The financial burden of not having work
took its toll on my relationship; I had to move back into my old
house, which was only partially renovated. I have Claudia, my
four-year-old daughter from Monday to Friday because her Mum works.
Luckily kids tend to accept things as they are and whilst the
kitchen is bad, the bedrooms and bathroom are OK!"
Paul bought and started renovating his house in Macdonald Road when
he was employed. His plan was to cover the mortgage by renting it.,
but the housing crash had left him in negative equity and an
undiagnosed leak in the kitchen destroyed all the furniture and
plaster. "It is a Catch-22..." he said. As a
homeowner he gets less state support than socially housed tenants.
He can't get rid of his house because he has too much debt. Bailing
out isn't an option because that would also mean he'd made himself
intentionally homeless. "No money, no repairs, no kitchen...
and no time!"
Poverty takes time, he explains. To get the best possible food for
Claudia, he had to shop around. With no kitchen everything had to be
fresh and eaten quickly before it perished. Says Paul Currie:-
"Without a kitchen, normal jobs take longer. For example, I
had to run up and down the stairs to get water from the bathroom
just to boil a kettle or wash up and you have to shop every day for
fresh food because you can't store anything. When you do shop you
have to be so careful with your money that you can't just shop at
one shop, you have to go everywhere to get the best deal. For
instance, if a loaf of bread is 20p cheaper at Iceland you'll go
there and check everywhere else out as a comparison. Household
fuel's another big thing. If you can't afford to pay quarterly you
have to get a meter and you actually pay more for the rental of a
meter. So the poorest people are paying the highest price for fuel."
Everyone's hoping the new kitchen will mark a watershed in Paul's
life. On the night work started on the kitchen he wrote a blog
titled:- "BROKEN - A blog about living with Mental Illness and
getting a new kitchen. Confused? Read on! It fills in most of the
blanks in this story and it's written from the heart..."
Paul Currie wrote on it... He also sent a text sent to MyBuilder.com
on after the kitchen was finished. "To MyBuilder -
Claudia just said to me 'I think this is the best day of my life.'
When I asked why she said 'Because we have got a new kitchen!'"
Who helped with Paul's makeover?
Plasterer GED PARSLEY from WOOLTON PLASTERING AND
RENDERING Kitchen maker/manufacturer JUSTIN WHITTAM from BLACKCAT
BESPOKE WOODWORK AND JOINERY Gas fitter JAMES COBURN from JWC
PROPERTY SERVICES FRANK DINELEY from Merseyside Carpets TRAVIS
PERKINS (Huyton) Branch Manager GAVIN LEDDER provided plastering
materials CO OPERATIVE ELECTRICAL SHOP donated a cooker, extractor
hood, gas hob, electric oven and undercounter fridge.....But perhaps
the most eccentric gift of all comes from posh dentistry practice,
SMILEWORKS. The practice not only donated a new sink and taps but
dentist MJ ROWLAND-WARMAN is also giving Paul some much needed
dental treatment for free.
To see the video and also the make over photographs, click on
RELEASE SUMMER DRINK DRIVE CAMPAIGN RESULTS
A month long drink and drug
drive campaign in June reveals that 98% of motorists in Merseyside
are driving responsibly. A total of 5,527 drivers were stopped in
Merseyside and breath tested. Police also conducted 51 impairment
tests on drivers suspected of taking drugs, resulting in 10 arrests.
6 of these were cannabis related. Overall, 124 arrests were made for
failing or refusing a breath test (2.1%), which is down from 2.9% in
the last Christmas campaign and 2.4% in the last year's summer drink
Chief Inspector John Hogan, Head of Merseyside Police's Roads
Policing Department said:- "What these figures show is the
determination that Merseyside Police have to deter and detect those
drivers who drink and drive and who take drugs and drive. They are
very encouraging and I would like to recognise that the vast
majority of drivers are responsible road users who are heeding our
advice. However, 1 in 50 of those drivers we tested are not and
either failed or refused to provide us with a breath specimen. By
drinking and driving, people not only risk their own life, but those
of their passengers and others on the road. Figures show that the
number of drivers failing a breath test after a collision rises to
6.4%. I would like to reassure the public that we will continue to
carry out enforcement throughout 2014 and will seek to engage with
road users to educate them about the dangers that alcohol and drugs
Merseyside Police is currently taking part in a 3 year trial, using
a Drager cannabis testing device in each of their 5 custody suites.
The devices, which test for the presence of Tetrahydrocannabinol,
the psychoactive element of the drug, have the potential to reduce
the length of time police officers spend off the streets. In a
recent case, a cannabis impaired driver was booked into custody,
processed and a blood sample obtained, all within 1 hour and 30
Sgt Paul Mountford, the Force Lead on drink and drug driving
stated:- "We have invested heavily in training our officers to
recognise the signs of drugs in drivers and have consistently
achieved good results in campaigns over the past four years. We are
well aware of the increasing use of cannabis and the threat that it
and other drugs pose to drivers. The Drager devices should further
enable us to become more efficient and achieve even better results
in the future."
And Country Fair is heading back over 23 August to 25 August
THE Southport Town And
Country Fair will take place over 23 August to 25 August 2014, at
the Leisure Lakes, Mere Brow, PR4 6JX. The event organisers have
said that the following events are on Every Day at the fair (unless
Jason Smyth's "The Adrenaline Tour" Flying High Quad
Racing- Pig Racing and Indian Runner Duck Racing with Honest Joe the
► Horse Carriage Driving (Sat)
► Shopping Mall & Craft Marquee
► 80 + Trade Stands
► Liverpools very own H+M Dog Display Team (Sun Only)
► Childrens Entertainment
► Fairground, Trampoline
► Side Saddle Demos (Sun)
► Bouncy Castle
► Bug House (Tarantulas, Millipedes, Stick Insects)
► Reptiles, Snakes & Lizards (Reptile House)
► Fun Dog Show - enter your own dog @1pm (Sun only, 1 Free entry in
► Siberian Huskies (Hug a Husky)
► Equestrian Acts
► Dog Tricks Act
► Shetland Ponies
► Racing Pigeon House
► Pig Racing with Fun Betting
► Musical Horses and Ponies
► Northwest Stickmakers
► Alpacas Display - (Mon)
► Donkey Rides (Sat & Sun)
► Gun Dog Demos (demos & Scurry by MereBrow Gun Dogs)
► Air Rifle Shooting - Have a go
► Southport Stamps & Postcards
► Bar & Catering
► Flyball | Scurry
► Ford Side Valve Motorcars (Mon only)
► Ferret Racing
► Amphibian and Reptile Group of South Lancashire
Prices are as follows:- Saturday and up to 12pm and Sunday...
KIDS GO FREE! Adult:- £6 - Child:- £2 - Senior/Disabled:-
£5 - Family:- £16. For more information go to:-
call:- 01704 212734.