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Royal Princes pitch in to renovate homes for soldiers

Created: 30/09/2015

Princes William and Harry rolled up their shirtsleeves to help reclaim and rebuild the homes of military families in Manchester. As part of the television program DIY SOS they donned hard hats and work boots to help those in need.

The brothers were joined by Nick Knowles and the BBC's DIY SOS team of builders for the project. There are also hundreds of volunteers trying to make a difference in the big construction project. Called the team's "most ambitious" project so far, they will renovate eight buildings. They will also refurbish the facades of 62 additional houses in an effort to help create a new mixed community.

Resident John Wilkinson, 58, told the BBC he thought the visit from the royal brothers was "brilliant". But, he was a little concerned his wife might be smitten with the two.

"They were gentlemen,” he said. “They were flirting with Margaret more than anyone else. She was well chuffed with Harry. I think she is going to leave me."

Wilkinson has lived on Canada Street in Newton Heath for 28 years. The project will keep his house from being demolished.

"Hopefully this is the catalyst across the country to do something for all our soldiers and families,” he said. “There is no reason for our soldiers to be living on the streets, they can come and form a nice community here."


The plan is for the entire street to be rejuvenated for ex-service personnel. William and Harry said they are hoping to draw attention to the difficulty former military personnel face to make the transition back to civilian life. When leaving the military, some former soldiers are dealing with injuries, mental or physical challenges.

The redevelopment in Manchester will see a support centre built on the street. The centre will be operated jointly by Walking With The Wounded and the Royal British Legion. Both organisations try to assist ex-servicemen and women with retraining and on-site support. 

For all homeowners, a successful DIY project can help restore their pride of ownership. But, for many of us, DIY may seem daunting or intimidating. For advice on assistance with any home construction job, there are a number of handyman services in London that can help give your project a boost.

Image Credit: WHALEN JACK (

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