A GROUP of volunteers who helped a builder left paralysed after a fall are returning to his Herefordshire home three years later to carry out more work to help him regain his independence.

Martin Wilks was left paralysed from the chest down after falling off a stepladder in June 2018 and hitting his head on a concrete planter, causing a severe traumatic brain injury.

He was initially put in an induced coma and also suffered strokes, seizures, infections, pneumonia and a lung abscess while in hospital.

The 68-year-old finally returned to his home in Almeley, near Kington, in February 2019 after regaining some of his independence following a long period of rehabilitation.

In the same year, a team of volunteers from national construction charity Band of Builders (BoB), which completes practical projects to help members of the UK construction industry who are battling illness or injury, travelled to the general builder's home to install a new wood-burning stove to replace an unsafe and impractical open fire.

Ella Turner and Martin Wilks

Ella Turner and Martin Wilks

Since the initial project, Mr Wilks' family and friends crowdfunded to build an extension and specialist wet room to help him regain his independence and live comfortably at home with his wife.

Now, three years after Band of Builders first helped Mr Wilks, the charity is returning to Herefordshire in October to carry out more work to help him and his family.

From October 1 to 9, a team of volunteer tradespeople from across the country will give up their time for free to help level flooring on the ground floor of the family's home, as well as widen doorways to make it easier for Mr Wilks to move around in his wheelchair.

Martin Wilks, who suffered a fall from a ladder and was paralysed, pictured at home

Martin Wilks, who suffered a fall from a ladder and was paralysed, pictured at home

Speaking ahead of the project, his wife Helen said: "Band of Builders is going to make such a difference to both our lives.

"At the moment, he spends his time either at the kitchen table or in bed, and he is dependent on me to move him around – but in the last year, my condition has worsened, meaning I need ambulatory oxygen, compounding the difficulties for caring for Martin."

His daughter Hannah added: "It's going to be life-changing. I'm really excited for them both.

"Dad can finally regain some independence and relieve Mum of her wheelchair-pushing duties. Both their day-to-day lives will be vastly improved.

"It's amazing what Band of Builders does."

Martin Wilks, pictured with wife Helen

Martin Wilks, pictured with wife Helen

This will be the 27th project that the charity has completed since it was founded in 2016 – and it is currently enlisting volunteer carpenters and electricians from across Herefordshire and its community of 50,000 supporters.

Martin's project is sponsored by Tarmac, the UK's leading sustainable construction materials and building products business.

Richard Dombrowski, the project lead for this project and a longstanding BoB volunteer, said: "It's a real privilege to be going back to do more for Martin.

"His family and friends have made an amazing effort to ensure he's got the space and facilities to allow him some independence, and we're hoping some of the changes we're making will add to that and make him even more comfortable. We can't wait to get cracking."

The charity, founded in 2016, is also backed by other major names within the building industry, including Jewson, Gibbs & Dandy, V12 Footwear, Talasey, Resideo and Haemmerlin.

Anyone who is interested is encouraged to find out more about the charity on its Facebook page: facebook.com/bandofbuilders.