How did it all start?
All through our working career, BS Knapp have been involved in working with disadvantaged people. For many years we undertook umpteen projects for The Manor House in Frenchay, which is a large social care provider on the outskirts of Bristol. Everything from simple maintenance works, through to installing new lifts and revamping a former swimming pool into a new children’s daycare unit and refurbishing a house into a new satellite unit for more able clients.
Through this work we were employed by The Priory Hospital, Bristol to carry out various maintenance works, which led to us being given the work to refurbish a large wing of the hospital to provide a new Child and Adolescent Unit and to adapt the existing facilities for the Eating Disorder Unit.
Any work with disadvantaged people has to be dealt with in a very carefully controlled and sympathetic manner; with many people, any change in their routines can upset them greatly and we have to adapt to each situation differently.
In early 2012 we secured a small subsidence project that was being overseen by a local building surveyors. The job was completed very successfully, with all parties involved very happy with the results. Consequently, because of the way we approached the work and our excellent relation with the householder, we were asked to tender for the work to adapt a house in Frome for a family who’s daughter had cerebral palsy. The same surveyors, who were acting for a national firm of solicitors, were, again, overseeing the project. It was a step-up in size for us, being nearly three-times bigger than our usual ‘bread and butter’ work at £185,000. There were several challenging points along the way (which were all due to the existing house throwing us a few curve balls!), but all work was completed on schedule and the family now has a beautiful home that is perfectly suited to their needs now and in the future.
From this start point we have now completed many projects for disabled people, ranging from reinforcing a bed (because the user liked to get into it rather…enthusiastically!!), through to installing new DDA compliant wet-rooms, entrance ramps, widening doors, right up to a £500,000 project in Newton Abbot for a complete house renovation with separate living wing for a wonderful family with a disabled grown up daughter.
All the way along our journey working with disabled and disadvantaged people, we have made some wonderful friends who were once clients.