Boss Renovates Dying Worker’s House, Raises Money For Widow To Buy It

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A kind boss has renovated the house of a dying employee and raised enough money for the worker’s widow to buy it.

When Addam Smith discovered that Keith Ellick was suffering from terminal throat cancer and only had 12 months to live he decided he couldn’t stand by while his friend worried about his family’s future.

He gathered an army of 50 workmen made up of plumbers, joiners and builders to give Keith’s house in Lincoln a complete makeover in just seven days.

Going one step further though he also set up a crowdfunding page which raised £58,000 so Keith’s widow, 28-year-old Sasha Hogan, could buy the house giving her and their six-year-old son Leighton a permanent home.

Addam recalled to The Mirror how Keith told him about his illness and his worries for his family.

He said: 

But all he talked about was how Sasha and Leighton would manage without him. Keith was a proper grafter and he worked so hard for me in the 10 years I knew him.

While Keith, Sasha and Leighton were away at a holiday chalet, Addam and his team installed a new kitchen and bathroom, laid a new floor, redecorated each room and landscaped the front and back garden.

The work’s estimated to have cost £60,000 in ­labour and material and was finished before the couple’s wedding in May.

Many of those who worked on the house attended the wedding and Keith’s former RAF regiment made a surprise appearance, forming a guard of honour for the happy couple.

Addam added:

It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. Knowing Sasha and Leighton are going to have a roof over their heads was what worried Keith the most.

The week we spent doing the house was the most rewarding thing ever and I think I speak for the rest of the lads when I say that.

Keith, unfortunately, passed away in March, his wife Sasha paid tribute to him.

She said:

I know Keith is resting in peace because Leighton and I have our own home which was something we dreamed about together when he was still alive.

What Addam and the Band of Builders did for Keith and us was amazing and I know it meant the world to him to know the people he loved were being looked after. The house is still a beautiful memory of the time we had.

Nick Knowles, best known for his work on DIY SOS, has congratulated Addam and he’s applied for his team, the Band of Builders, to gain charitable status so they can help others in the building trade who are struggling.


Tom Percival

Tom Percival

More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism. Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV. He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.