A BURY veterans group has banded together with members of the community to help provide a DIY boost to a local veteran in need.

Denis McHugh, who served in the Royal Navy for nine years in the 70s and 80s, had been struggling with his mental health and his home was becoming increasingly difficult to live in.

Denis' ceiling has been leaking for several years, while plastering has been falling off the walls..

The Borough of Bury Veterans Association (BOBVA) discovered his plight and local businesses helped provide Denis with everything from tiling and plumbing to waste removal and a new boiler.

Denis said: "I have been absolutely blown away and I am over the moon. I have had a difficult year and have recently been signed off by the mental health teams.

"I am just absolutely overwhelmed and I can't thank them enough."

Leanne Murphy, from the association, said: "When Covid-19 started to restrict the movements of some of our members, we started to complete welfare calls to our members who might be at risk. On one of the calls we had information received that Denis wasn’t in a good way.

"He had no heating and no working boiler and was living with a bathroom that wasn’t fit for purpose."

Leanne, Darren Taylor and others were able to contact a few builders who they knew through contacts within the association, while also also helping gain funds for Denis, meaning that different trades could come in to help.

A full bathroom suite was donated along with tiling and flooring, while the boiler was secured with the help of a government scheme.

Denis is currently waiting for the final touches to be made before he can finally move in.

BOBVA's interim president Chris Harness said: "From a personal perspective, it was amazing to see how the BOBVA DIY SOS project, as it is affectionately known, came together.

"If you ever doubted that community spirit still existed, well it is certainly alive and kicking within the veteran community, the wider community in Bury and further afield in the North West."

Denis added that he is looking forward to the future, having had bi-weekly chats with a therapist.

He said: "I have had a really good therapist who I have been speaking to on the phone and she was absolutely amazing.

"I've even been in touch with people from the navy who I haven't spoken to for years.

"I'm just so looking forward to moving in."

Those who have helped include Ray Porter, donated a week accommodation stay so Denis was not living in the dust, while also paying for a labourer to help on site, as well as donating £200 towards the material costs.

Some of those that helped include Ray Porter – Director of Fostering Changes Lives (Army Veteran), Andy Brooks (plumbing), Dave Stott (tiling),

Sam Aston (donated tiles), Martin Chapple (donated adhesives), Ryan Dixon (electrician), Martin Allen (donated the flooring), Dave Shawcross (SAFFA) and Warren Senior – Senior Waste (helped reduce waste costs).

Lee Smith, Gary Foster and Phil Liley from Northwest Bathrooms, based in Morecombe donated a full bathroom suite while Josh Lomas and Gareth Lovatt from Travis Perkins were able to help with getting materials and deliveries.