Friday, 09 September 2016 09:47

South and City College Birmingham apprentices help surprise cancer patients family

Neighbours came together with the help of South and City College Birmingham apprentices to surprise a three-year-old cancer patient and her family with a £60,000 home makeover.

Emily Cassidy and mother-of-three Lucy, 27, travelled to Jacksonville, Florida, in June so that the youngster could undergo a potentially life-saving course of proton beam therapy. While they were away, neighbours, students, and local businesses came together to tear out the kitchen, scrub away grime and eventually transform the family’s dilapidated terrace house in Stretchford, Birmingham into a clean, spacious home where Emily can continue her recovery. 

Lucy said: “the renovations are a dream come true, the work is a real testament of good old community spirit.”

Emily was just a toddler when she was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a tumour behind her eye. She underwent an operation to remove the aggressive cancer in March but doctors discovered the disease had spread and she started chemotherapy.

The NHS later granted funding for Emily to travel to the US for proton beam therapy, which kills cancerous cells while minimising damage to surrounding tissue, making the side effects less gruelling than those of other conventional treatments. 

During Emily’s treatment, Georgie Moseley, 32, of Help Harry Help Others was busy leading the ambitious project to transform the home. 

Ms Moseley, who lost her son Harry to cancer in 2011, launched a Facebook appeal after visiting the run-down property earlier this year. She said: “Emily’s constantly at hospital, her life’s been turned upside down, they should all be coming home to a tranquil place where they can just be a family.”

Her call for help received an overwhelming response from businesses across the region who pulled together to meet the family’s needs. 

Lucy was told that some work would be carried out while she was away but she would have never dreamed it was going to be on this scale. She explained: “all I was expecting was for them to fix the roof and do a bit of re-plastering. It is like a show home – I feel like I have a completely new house.

“The kitchen had been nothing more than a dining room with a cooker and I had been forced to do the washing-up in the bath after the sink broke five years ago.”


The SCCB apprentices worked on the project with local suppliers and contractors to transform Emily’s bedroom into a space fit for a princess, a complete rewiring and plumbing as well as giving the home a new extension and roof. 

To view the full article, visit The Daily Mail.