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Duration: 10 minutes

DIY SOS presenter Nick Knowles makes an appeal on behalf of FitzRoy, a charity that works to transform the lives of people with learning disabilities, helping them live more independently at home and in the community.

He visits Nicholas in his new home, where he has real choice in how he lives, who he shares his home with, and what support he needs. For the first time in his life Nicholas, who had lived in a large residential care home since the age of five, has a level of genuine independence.

  • Donate online now

    Donate online now

    Please donate by going to the website or by calling 01730 711111. If you’d like to post a donation please make your cheque payable to ‘FitzRoy Support' and send it to 'FitzRoy, FitzRoy House, 8 Hylton Road, Petersfield, Hampshire, GU32 3JY'.

  • Nick Knowles

    Nick Knowles

    I’ve presented DIY SOS for nearly 15 years now, making dramatic transformations to people’s homes. We’ve often had to change houses to help people live more comfortably with a disability or serious illness, and from these programmes I know the difference that equipment and technology can make to someone around their home, even in the short time I spend with them.

    Today, I am appealing for your support on behalf of FitzRoy – a charity which transforms the lives of adults with learning and other disabilities and supports them to live more independently at home and in the community.

    By providing the right mix of support and practical assistance, such as assistive technology, FitzRoy helps people have real choices about their everyday lives, be more independent and live safe and rewarding lives.

  • FitzRoy


    FitzRoy transforms the lives of people with learning disabilities, helping them live more independently at home and in the community. A national charity, founded fifty years ago, we encourage people to make their own choices about life - we believe disability shouldn’t exclude or hold people back from doing the things they want to do.

    For the more than 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK, some everyday tasks can be difficult. Through the right support and practical assistance, FitzRoy helps them to be more self-sufficient.

    FitzRoy make use of assistive technology by providing, for example, specialist kitchen equipment, visual and voice prompts, automatic door openers, or adapted computer aids. These help with a range of everyday tasks – from making a snack, to staying in touch with family and friends, and giving reminders to take medication or to remember keys when leaving the house.

    Specialist equipment is also provided to make life more comfortable for those with medical conditions or physical disabilities.

    Your donation will help FitzRoy support many people with disabilities, enabling them to live safely and with dignity, and to experience a meaningful and rewarding life.

    Thank you for your donation.

  • Andrew


    Andrew was born with a learning disability. He’s now 27 years old and struggles to do many everyday things.

    Mo is Andrew’s support worker and has known him for over 10 years. Mo says “Andrew is a very caring person, very sensitive, he’s a very very loyal friend”.

    Andrew isn’t able to live independently at the moment because he would struggle with simple things like preparing basic meals, but Andrew wants the opportunity to learn the skills that will help him to have a place of his own.

    Andrew says “I live with my mum, but I dream about living in a house because I want to be independent”

    That’s where FitzRoy come in. The charity are giving Andrew the tools he will need to become more independent. Every weekday he spends time with his support workers learning fundamental skills such as crossing roads safely, food hygiene, health and safety, and other basic living skills.

    The charity also places a lot of importance on making friends, realising that people with learning disabilities can all too easily become isolated. With friends from the charity Andrew regularly goes bowling, swimming and to the gym.

    Mo says, “Andrew’s grown so much in the few years since he’s been coming here. His confidence has just blossomed. He is desperate to be a normal young man in a house of his own doing his own thing. And I think with us continuing to help him along and empowering him to do things for himself then he has got a good chance of achieving that dream.”

  • Nathan


    FitzRoy is dedicated to empowering those with learning disabilities – even those with complex needs, like Nathan.

    Nathan was born a normal healthy child, but a rare condition had left him unable to break down proteins. At the age of about 3 months he went into a coma in which he stayed for a week, and he was left with severe and lasting brain damage.

    Nathan is now 40 years old but has a mental age and abilities of around about a 3 or 4 month old child. This left his father Trevor with a great concern, “Parents are not around forever and the thought continually came into my mind, what will happen to Nathan as I grew older and become unable physically to care for him”.

    Twenty years ago Nathan’s parents started to look for a place that could provide the round the clock specialist care that he needs, and discovered FitzRoy.

    At their residential home in Malvern Nathan gets 24 hour dedicated personal care, with physiotherapy, aromatherapy and even music therapy. Nathan also regularly spends time in a sensory room that gives him the freedom of being out of his wheelchair in a stimulating environment.

    Trevor says “I know that FitzRoy have given Nathan the best quality of life that he could ever have dreamed”.

  • Nicky


    The charity runs 13 residential care homes offering 24 hour support, as well as 39 supported living services. Nick Knowles visited a brand new residential home in Hampshire and met one of the residents, Nicky.

    Nicky has been looked after by the charity since he was 5 years old, he’s now 50. This year he moved out of one of their large residential care homes into this smaller home, it still offers 24 hour support but allows Nicky much greater independence. Nicky gave Nick a tour of his new home, showing him his bedroom, the easy to use electronic key fobs he has to get in and out, and the laundry where Nicky does all his own washing.

    He shares a living room and kitchen with 4 house mates where they each take it in turns, together with the help of a support worker, to make supper each night.

    The house is equipped with assistive tools such as a lift for residents with mobility problems and even a talking microwave.

    And the support workers are always on hand to help the residents do what they want to do.

    All this means Nicky has more control of his life than he ever did before.

  • Behind the Scenes

  • Filming with Nick Knowles

    Filming with Nick Knowles

  • Nicky in the kitchen

    Nicky in the kitchen

  • The crew setting up to film

    The crew setting up to film

  • Using the kitchen facilities

    Using the kitchen facilities


Nick Knowles
Executive Producer
Gill Tierney


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