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When Addam Smith was told that one of his staff members, Keith Ellick, had been diagnosed with terminal cancer with less than a year to live, he decided to build Ellick his dream home.
The director of a landscaping company, Smith posted a plea on Builders Talk Group’s Facebook page. 50 members of the group, including gardeners, builders, plumbers, then formed a building team.
When Smith sent Ellick, his wife and 5 year-old son, away on holiday for a week, they returned to a dream house.
“The house looked like a show home inside. I can’t thank Addam and everybody else enough. We are truly humbled by what they have done for us,’ said 41-year-old Ellick, who got a new bathroom, kitchen and garden.
Smith said he was pleased to help after hearing how concerned his employee was about his wife and son.
“One of the first things he said was, “I haven’t even got the money for a funeral”. He wasn’t worried about himself, he was worried about his family.’
Now, Smith wants to go a step further and raise £100,000 through a fundraising page, so that Ellick can buy the house, giving much-needed security for his family.
And, together with charity Team Verrico, they are also raising cash to get Ellick private medical care that could potentially save his life.
In an interview with The Mirror, Smith said when he first started approaching people for the project, they weren’t exceedingly supportive. However, they were amazed as soon as they were told what the real purpose of Smith’s endeavour was.
“We sent Keith and his family off for a holiday, which we paid for, and all they knew was that they might be getting a new kitchen. We were literally painting his front door step as they arrived back on the Sunday night and they were totally overwhelmed. I couldn’t have done it if people hadn’t turned up on the right days, the electricians, the kitchen fitters, the landscapers, all of them.” he said.
“This isn’t really about the money, it’s about peace of mind for Keith and putting things in place for his family,” Smith added.