DIY SOS EastEnders special in Harlow tonight (18 December)


Stars from EastEnders join forces with Nick Knowles and the DIY SOS team to transform a vital community project in Harlow, Essex tonight.

The initiative aims to foster unity and enhance mental health support in the area.

Members of the EastEnders cast will swap their scripts for safety gear as they work alongside a host of volunteers to renovate a new space for Butterfly Effect Well-Being. This upgrade will allow the organization to extend its crucial services to more individuals grappling with issues like social isolation and self-harm.

Butterfly Effect Well-Being, currently operating from a portacabin, offers a variety of groups and activities. These include men’s meet-ups, a singing group, teen ‘Chill and Chat’ sessions, and workshops in cooking, crafts, and holistic therapy.

The project was founded by Angela Hannibal, who, after losing her mother to suicide and witnessing her long struggle with mental health, left her pharmacy career to aid others facing similar challenges.

Gabrielle Blackman with Natalie Cassidy on DIY SOS Eastenders Special
Gabrielle Blackman with Natalie Cassidy on DIY SOS Eastenders Special

Which EastEnders cast are involved?

Colin Salmon (George Knight), Perry Fenwick (Billy Mitchell), Natalie Cassidy (Sonia Fowler) and more cast members will appear in the special.

Perry Fenwick said: “It was an absolute privilege to take part in this special project for DIY SOS. The team really do amazing work, and to see that first hand, and to contribute to a very deserving cause for the Harlow Community project was brilliant and very humbling.”

The local council has donated a building to the project, but it requires significant refurbishment to become operational. Nick Knowles and the DIY SOS team are calling on local volunteers to join the EastEnders cast in transforming this building into a warm, inviting community hub. This space will offer a haven for those seeking help, support, and companionship.

Nick Knowles said: “Working alongside our EastEnders friends was an absolute pleasure – they rolled up their sleeves and got down to business. We’re forever grateful for the incredible army of volunteers who dedicate their time, enabling us to deliver such crucial projects.

“I’m thrilled that during this festive season, we can make a positive impact, and this build will hopefully support Angela in continuing the brilliant work she does.”

The DIY SOS Christmas special with EastEnders will air on Monday, 18 December at 8PM on BBC One and iPlayer.

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