York brick firm lends a helping hand to rehouse former British soldiers

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The York Handmade Brick Company has joined forces with hundreds of volunteers, including the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, to help BBC’s DIY SOS team transform a derelict Manchester street into homes for ex-servicemen.

The firm, based at Alne, near Easingwold, provided thousands of handmade bricks and pavers free of charge.

The project, which was described by DIY SOS’s builders as their “most ambitious to date”, will be featured on BBC1 at 8.00pm on Wednesday October 14 and Wednesday October 21.

The Royal Princes took part in the finishing stages of the renovation project to highlight the challenges that service personnel face when they leave the forces. Eight buildings in Canada Street have been renovated and 62 house facades in New Street updated.

A support centre in Canada Street has also been created run by the Walking With The Wounded charity and the Royal British Legion. The centre aims to help ex-servicemen and women with retraining and on-site support for those with mental or physical injuries.

Prince William showed off his artistic flair as he painted a kitchen, whilst Prince Harry was tasked with laying garden paving stones, as the Royals joined hundreds of volunteers to make the dream a reality.

David Armitage, the managing director of York Handmade, saidd: “We were delighted to supply more than 6,000 bricks and pavers free of charge to help such a tremendous cause. There is no doubt that too many soldiers have returned from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan with both mental and physical scars. I firmly believe it is our duty to support them.”