Access at home
166. Vince Knight
A builder from Grays, Essex built a brand new £6,000 bathroom for a young girl in a wheelchair completely free of charge.
12 year old Katie Anderson was born with neurofibromatosis, a condition that causes tumours to grow along her nerves. In March this year Katie was diagnosed with an astrocytoma, an inoperable stage four tumour on the back of her brain, leaving her completely wheel-chair bound and making the upstairs family bathroom impossible to use.
Vince was asked to provide a quote for transforming the Anderson family’s downstairs bathroom into a wet room. The project was due to be funded by Essex charity Wipe Away Those Tears. Inspired by Katie’s story, Vince decided to complete the £6,000 project free of charge. He persuaded local suppliers to give their materials including plumbing, tiles and other equipment for free. As a result, the money from Wipe Away Those Tears is now available for another project for the charity, which helps children living with long-term conditions.
The bathroom was finished within one week. Thanks to Vince’s handiwork, Katie has the independence enjoyed by other girls her age.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“Vince’s heart-warming story shows how a selfless act of kindness can change someone else’s life. His actions have given Katie the independence enjoyed by other girls her age. He thoroughly deserves this Point of Light award.”
“I am astounded to receive such an award, it was never meant to be like this. The biggest reward I could have hoped for was the smile of a happy little girl. I was not alone is this either and must thank Tom from Thurrock Supplies and Peter from Tilbury Tiles. Let’s hope she enjoys it for a lot longer.”