Penny’s ‘DIY SOS’ prompts big response from Falkirk builders

Penny (second right) at home with parents Jonny and Cat and baby sister Lola. Picture: Michael Gillen
Penny (second right) at home with parents Jonny and Cat and baby sister Lola. Picture: Michael Gillen

When a family heard nothing back from a TV show that transforms deserving families’ homes, they launched their own ‘DIY SOS’.

Johnny and Cat Barclay wrote several times to the popular BBC series hoping it could assist them with their plan to build a suitable downstairs bedroom and wetroom for daughter Penny (4), who has severe cerebral palsy and uncontrollable epilepsy.

So many people have been touched by Penny and her condition and want to help

Cat Barclay

When the couple, from the Bog area of Falkirk, didn’t receive a response from producers, they decided to reach out to friends and family to help with the project, which was estimated to cost £37,000.

Word soon spread across the town and now the Barclays have received offers of materials and labour from several local tradesmen and businesses.

Cat (33), who works in administration, had originally set up a fundraising page for husband Johnny, who will run the Dundee half-marathon on July 12.

The aim was a modest £250, but the page has so far attracted donations of more than £1000.

The Barclays have also received offers of help from JTR Fitting Ltd, 1st Class Roofing, Rinus Roofing Suppliers, MCD Electrical and Farrell Electrical, Claymore Electrics, Finishing Touch plasterers, painter Derek Campbell and joiner Nicky Barclay.

“We’ve been blown away by people’s generosity,” she said. “So many people have been touched by Penny and her condition and want to help.”

Penny was born with severe brain damage, caused by a pre-natal stroke at 34 weeks. She is unable to sit-up unaided, walk or talk.

“Unfortunately, Penny’s left hip is now dislocated which means another hip reconstruction,” added Cat.

“This is a horrendous procedure for Penny to endure and also a very difficult and heartbreaking time for the whole family.”

For more details, visit {https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/fzvFa |the family’s fundraising page}.