Builders unveil transformed Mildenhall home of Simon Dobbin

Nicole Dobbin
Nicole Dobbin

Hundreds of builders unveiled the transformed home of a Mildenhall man who was left permanently brain damaged two years ago.

The BBC’s DIY SOS answered the cry for help from the family of Simon Dobbin, who was attacked by a gang of thugs while leaving a Cambridge United game at Southend in 2015, leaving him in a wheelchair and in need of round-the-clock care.

Builders and volunteers outside Simon Dobbin's home.

Builders and volunteers outside Simon Dobbin's home.

Simon was not well enough to attend the unveiling yesterday, but wife Nicole and daughter Emily received a rapturous applause from builders as they left their transformed house.

Emotional Nicole said: “Everything has changed in there.

“It’s not the home I left. Walls have been moved, areas that were small are now bigger. It’s a different house.”

During the nine-day build, a team of more than 300 builders have transformed Simon’s house.

Nicole and Emily Dobbin

Nicole and Emily Dobbin

The work has included making the ground floor wheelchair accessible, building a wet room, a physio space and a downstairs bedroom for Simon.

Before the build, his hospital bed was set up in the dining room, with only a curtain for privacy. With no access to the upstairs bathroom, the house put a huge strain on Nicole, who is is full time carer, and Mildenhall Academy student Emily.

“The work will give Simon more dignity. It will give him some mobility back in his life,” said Nicole.

Unveiling the house, the DIY SOS team walked Emily and Nicole down the street to their house and then blindfolded the pair when they were taken inside.

Simon's daughter Emily (left)

Simon's daughter Emily (left)

“I burst out in tears when I saw it,” she said.

“I was a bit worried that Laurence Llewelyn Bowen was doing the decoration, but it’s stunning.

“I’m not going to change a thing,” said Nicole.

Ryan Bloor, managing director of Cambs Glass and part of the build team, said: “It’s absolutely amazing.

“It’s only a small place and there was barely any room for a wheelchair but now it’s been widened up and it’s fit for purpose.”