Band of Builders
1747. Gavin Crane
Gavin Crane, from Cambridgeshire, is chairman of the trustees of ‘Band of Builders’, a nationwide support network providing free renovation work and practical assistance for members of the UK construction industry and their families who have been affected by illness, disability, or hardship.
The network was initially started in 2016 when landscape gardener Addam Smith, drafted in a team of volunteer construction workers to help renovate the garden of a friend and fellow tradesman, Keith Ellick, who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Since then, Gavin, a commercial playground installer by trade who joined volunteers in 2017 to install a sensory playground for a special needs school who had been raising funds until their honesty box was stolen, has grown the network up into a registered charity. The charity has now completed 18 full-scale renovation projects, the costs of which are worth over £550,000, with the team about to start their largest project to date, valued at £130,000. Gavin has also set up a series of sponsorships and charitable partnerships with leading corporations in the building industry.
In a personal letter to Gavin, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“The construction industry is just one of the ways that we will build back better from the pandemic. So it is brilliant to hear how you and your ‘Band of Builders’ are doing this vital work and still finding time to help others in the industry.
“Your construction projects are a wonderfully practical way of helping people living with illness or disability and they are a fitting tribute to the person who inspired your charity.”
“It’s an honour and a surprise to receive the Points of Light award and I’m happy to receive it on behalf of all the incredible volunteers that make ‘Band of Builders’ what it has become today. What we have achieved in such a short space of time has been so rewarding and made possible thanks to incredible volunteers and a small army of tradespeople from across the UK. We hope ‘Band of a Builders’ will support members of the construction industry for many years to come.”
Pictured: Gavin (right) received a cheque from Robert Lamb, a recent beneficiary, whose family had fundraised for the charity