Our DIY SOS nightmare: Family including disabled son tell how they were accused of being part of a ‘con’ after Covid pandemic delayed their episode of BBC show
- EXCLUSIVE: Family said DIY SOS was the best thing they ever did despite abuse
A family who featured on DIY SOS with their disabled son but were attacked by online trolls because the episode was delayed are now happy to be living in their ‘forever’ home, MailOnline can reveal.
Jackie Hutchinson, who starred in the programme with her husband Colin and their three children in 2019, said they all agree it was the best thing they ever did and they love living in their new specially adapted house.
The Hutchinson family, from Corby, Northamptonshire, were featured on the BBC makeover show back in October 2019.
Nick Knowles and his team, along with hundreds of volunteers from the community, helped the family modify their home over nine days support of their teenage son Jordan, who suffers from cerebral palsy and epilepsy.
But the onset of the pandemic meant the rest of the series was only completed last year, and the deserving family’s episode finally aired in May 2022.
In an exclusive interview with MailOnline, Mrs Hutchinson revealed how the family came under attack over the length of time it took for the episode to air. She said: ‘This has been an amazing experience, and we are forever grateful to the BBC for helping to enhance and change our lives for the better.
‘Yes, we have suffered some abuse which has been awful and very hurtful but we have tried to ignore it, and that it all in the past now.’
The Hutchinson family, from Corby, Northamptonshire, found themselves on the BBC One programme back in October 2019. Pictured: DIY SOS host Nick Nowles with Colin and Jackie Hutchinson
The DIY team and hundreds of volunteers, helped the family modify their home in support of their teenage son Jordan (pictured), who suffers from cerebral palsy and epilepsy
The civil servant said that the building and interior work had been a ‘life changer,’ and had given Jordan a fresh lease of life with ‘independence, freedom, privacy and dignity.’
Jordan, who was 16 at the time, has since passed his exams, landed a voluntary job and enjoys his favourite sport and hobby pool, and even plays in a local league.
But his mother has revealed the shock abuse the family suffered, including accusations they were on benefits or that they had sold the house and moved to Dubai. Mrs Hutchinson said: ‘That was totally out of our hands but we got a load of abuse.
‘The show relies on skilled trades people and volunteers offering their services for free for TV exposure and publicity.
‘A few people who had been working on our home and wanted their five minutes of fame started targeting our family on social media, suggesting we were a bit of a con!
‘It was messages, negative comments from people, asking why their donated work hadn’t yet been featured.
‘It was during Covid, not a great time for the country, and people felt frustrated over the long delay in the show going out.
‘Sadly, we got the blame and they vented anger at us. They said: ‘We’ve helped out, we’ve done this and that and for what?’
Reflecting on her ordeal after a successful and much appreciated home transformation, Mrs Hutchinson said: ‘Everyone joined in on social media because it was taking ages for the show to go out.
‘Rumours were going around that we were benefit frauds, emotions were running high, it was very hurtful.
The family said they suffered vile abuse from trolls after their episode was pushed back and delayed for two years
Despite suffering the abuse, the family (pictured) are delighted with their ‘forever’ home
‘Others suggested we had sold our house and moved to Dubai. It was crazy speculation.’
Her husband, now 41, is a full time carer for Jordan. She continued: ‘I could sense people had been thinking ‘He doesn’t work, they’ve got a £100,000 grand in the bank and ‘It’s a con because the programme hasn’t aired.’
‘It was a horrible time but thankfully all the hype has now died down.’
The worried family had relayed their hate mail to the BBC.
Mrs Hutchinson said: ‘They were very supportive and helpful and told us to ignore the comments, saying some people were jealous.
‘They advised us to come off all social media, which we did, and said that if we felt threatened to call the police but that wasn’t a necessity, absolutely not.
‘Thankfully there’s more positive people out there than negative.’
Before he BBC team had moved in to help out, the family had secured a £60,000 loan to modify their home for Jordan, who struggles to speak and care for himself.
But financial constraints and ongoing needs left them still appealing for assistance, with Jordan’s mum admitting: ‘It was difficult, life was really hard and we couldn’t really see the end of it.’
Since DIY SOS has transformed their property, Mrs Hutchinson said: ‘Every day we pinch ourselves.
‘We can’t believe we wake up in a home like this, it is a dream.
‘The BBC even bought us stuff like a specially adapted pool table and cue for Jordan and treats for us all, and we kept finding scented candles in drawers, an unexpected touch.
‘We are so thankful and grateful to everybody, from the prop workers to Nick, and cannot thank the BBC enough, it is an amazing thing they did for us, and for other people:
Following the episode, the family have returned to life as normal and their son, Jordan (pictured) has enjoyed his independence
She told MailOnline that the process had been ‘the best thing we have ever done’ and that the biggest change was for Jordan.
His mother revealed: ‘He’s completely independent now, in terms of toileting and bathing and that has given him independence, freedom, privacy and dignity.
‘There are no regrets from doing the show. After some negativity, it has been the most amazing and positive experience and has changed all of our lives.’
She added: ‘It is the best thing we have ever done. Life has just got better!’
Mrs Hutchinson, who apart from Jordan has younger kids, football-mad Kyle, 16, and 14-year-old Lacey, said: ‘Our whole home now is accessible and electric.
‘For Jordan, and us, it is a Godsend, because Jordan can now wash, dry and toilet himself in privacy.
‘He still needs help with dressing and eating, but with personal issue he can do himself. It has helped him with independence, freedom and dignity’
The family have enjoyed wonderful holidays all over the globe, pictured here in Portugal in August, 2023
Jordan is quite the jet-setter and has enjoyed multiple holidays since appearing on the show
Jordan is pictured relaxing on his family holiday to Portugal in August, 2023
His proud mother paid tribute to her eldest child as being ‘very intelligent’ who has a passion for playing pool and belongs ot a league in Wellingborough,
She said: ‘He loves his pool and the BBC show kindly gave him a table with an adapted cue which we have at home.’
The re-designed house and extension gives the parents and three kids all separate bedrooms whee before the coupe had use the lounge to sleep in.’
The travel-loving family have enjoyed overseas breaks since their home transformation with several trips to Europe, and have recently returned from Portugal.
Mrs Hutchinson, whose husband is a football coach for Corby Town Under 18’s and younger son Kyle plays for, said: ‘We love going away on holiday and also around the country for soccer.
‘Jordan can’t play football but is thrilled to see his brother play.
‘He has become so independent, it is a milestone in his life, and that opportunity has arisen form this TV project.
‘The show helps anybody in need, as we were, and in payback for that support we have given our time and energy to helping out on the building of a new community centre in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire.
‘Me and my husband mucked in on the building site for four days.
‘As for Jordan, he’s happy but trying to find a new job as his volunteer role at a virtual reality gaming shop went when the shop closed down after lockdown.
‘He’s looking forward to a road trip next month – just him and his gran to Ireland.’
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