EQUITONE provides free [natura] for Charity DIY SOS on the BBC

Children in Need 2022 charity the Getaway Girls in Leeds get a new centre clad with EQUITONE.


EQUITONE was approached to take part in the BBC show DIY SOS, where people or groups receive free help from the construction industry. This project was for the national charity Children In Need, where the recipients, the Getaway Girls which empowers young women in Leeds aged 11-25, would have a new purpose-built home.

EQUITONE Specification Manager Mike Lee worked with the project architect and designer to select and specify EQUITONE [natura]. Once specified, fabrication partner Vivalda was contacted and also agreed to get involved with the charity project.

EQUITONE provides free [natura] for Charity DIY SOS on the BBC

Community, sustainability and EQUITONE

Mike Lee, EQUITONE specification manager: “Community and sustainability are very important to our business, so we didn’t need to think twice when we were asked to support this great project. Our range of facade products are very popular with schools, colleges and universities, so the use of our [natura] cladding for the Getaway Girls’ centre was an obvious choice.”

The new building is intended to act as a safe space for those who the charity supports, including facilities such as a crèche, counselling rooms, activity spaces, and a garden. It is clad in 8mm thick EQUITONE [natura] fibre cement panels in chalk grey. In total, the new building uses 120m2 of cut-to-size cladding, all of which have been rivet fixed.

EQUITONE provides free [natura] for Charity DIY SOS on the BBC 5

Trusted partnerships deliver successful projects

Craig Matson, Regional Director at Vivalda, said: “Given the fact that this new project was for such a worthy cause, we jumped at the chance to work with the team at EQUITONE to provide an attractive and hardwearing facade for the building. We used our in-house design software, CNC routers and panel saws to ensure the job was done right first time. We also used our own logistics fleet to make sure the cut-to-size EQUITONE panels were delivered to site in Seacroft right on time.”

“Attending the big reveal of the project, which involved Children in Need, Nick Knowles and his team and BBC Radio 2 legends Zoe Ball and Scott Mills, showed the building trade at its very best – full of support and a positive, ‘can do’ attitude! It was great to see the finished structure looking so good. The Getaway Girls is such a valuable charity and we’re delighted to have done our bit to support them.”

EQUITONE provides free [natura] for Charity DIY SOS on the BBC 6

Charity director Flavia Docherty said: "We are thrilled to have been given this amazing opportunity and couldn't be more excited for the future of the charity. The new space will provide the chance for us to support even more girls from across the city, and make a positive difference in their lives.

"We are so grateful to the whole DIY SOS team, Radio 2 and their presenters and, of course, BBC Children in Need for supporting us for 12 years - without their funding we wouldn't have been able to continue our work for this long and have the impact that we have done for girls and young women in Leeds over the years.”

EQUITONE and Vivalda were among the hundreds of volunteers and supporters who were involved in the nine day build. The episode covering the Getaway Girls’ project was broadcast on Wednesday November 16, 2022 as part of BBC Children in Need.