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Follow the action as Timco Wood takes part in this year’s 60 Minute Makeover Christmas special as part of ITV’s Text Santa Charity campaign

As part of the 2014 ITV Text Santa Campaign we were asked to come on board as the decking supplier for the 60 Minute Makeover Christmas special. The programme was centred around improving the Buddy Hut at Haven House Children’s Hospice in Woodford Green, Essex with a large decking extension being the focal point of this. Our involvement ranged from planning the layout of the deck to discussing the environmental impact of decking at the arboretum. And, of course, Timco Wood volunteers helped out on the day of filming with the construction of the deck itself and any other help we could provide.

Take a look at our photo diary to see how the day progressed.


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On the morning of filming we prepared and packed nearly 50 square metres of grey composite decking, composite edging trim, fixing and clips ready to take to site. We had discussed the design of the deck with the construction team beforehand and had been made familiar with the layout of the site. Timco Wood volunteers accompanied the delivery to site and helped the rest of the Text Santa crew unload the decking and components. We got to work immediately, re-confirming the construction with the installation team so that they fully understood the difference between composite decking and regular timber. We then supervised the laying of our composite decking ensuring things such as a gap for expansion had been provided for.

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However we were also eager to help out in other areas such as with the mixing of mulch which was to decorate the outside of the deck once it was laid.

There was a lot to do in a short space of time so we wanted to ensure that we could help out as best we could, wherever the help was needed.

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As the sunny day progressed so did the completion of the deck. We had discussed with the installation team about how to install our composite decking and the guys quickly got to grips with it and found their rhythm quickly. Of course, the nature of the programme meant that time was of the essence but construction was going well and we were very pleased with how the deck was coming along.

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It could not really be a Christmas special without Christmas dinner could it? Well, this was no exception and, though we were aware of the clock, there was enough time for Christmas dinner (with all the trimmings) and a round of carols to keep spirits up ready for the afternoon. The banter round the table was great, with everyone enjoying the spirit of Christmas in summer but, at the same time, everyone was aware of the important task at hand and the real reason we were all there.

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The Christmas dinner certainly did the trick and work moved along quickly following lunch. There was still a lot to do however and we had a
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definite deadline approaching. Although everyone had just met that morning, the team ethic and atmosphere was fantastic. Each person knew what they had to do and we were always aware of the great cause that we were there to help. It was clearly a team effort with the shows presenters helping out to ensure the deadline was met.
The laying of the decking proceeded smoothly and the refresh of the Buddy Hut was going well too. The spirit of Christmas certainly followed on through from lunch and people continued to sing carols as a way to keep the pace and the mood up; even after a fifth round of Jingle Bells!
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Before long we were nearing the end of the build. We finished the deck off with the wood grain effect of our composite boards and we used the edge trim for the side by the disabled ramp. We purposefully bought down more decking than was necessary which was not only to cover for wastage but so that we could donate it to Haven House Hospice for use elsewhere in the grounds. After a tidy up the deck was looking fantastic and a bench was fitted around the central tree as part of the challenge section of the programme.
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After the deck and the Buddy Hut were complete the job itself was far from over. The whole purpose of the project at Haven House Hospice was to create a space full of vibrancy and energy that would help, in some small way at least, to improve the quality of life of the children at the hospice. This meant improving the visual of the surrounding deck with mulch and turning the newly-finished deck into a Christmas playground for the kids. There were giant versions of popular board games plus boxes and sacks of toys for the kids to open. The deck was made even more Christmassy by having decorations and reindeer and even snow machines were made ready for the presentation party.
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But after helping set up and a hard day’s work it was time to relax for a moment and enjoy the completed deck with pride. Job Done!

You can see Timco Wood’s involvement, including the presentation party, at the Christmas special of 60 Minute Makeover as part of ITV’s Text Santa charity campaign 2014. The show is due to air on December 19, 2014.