A GROUP of tradesmen and professionals pooled their talents to create the perfect house for a six-year-old girl with severe disabilities.

Neave Evans has cerebral palsy and requires 24-hour care at the family home in Great Harwood where they have lived for four years.

Dad Jan Evans runs business Jets GPS while his wife Maxine provides full-time care for Neave and second daughter Frankie, three.

Shortly after moving to the area, Jan joined local business networking group BNI Zeus to help grow his business, which provides vehicle tracking and fleet management systems from headquarters in Blackburn.

Every week, a different member gets a chance to provide a ten-minute presentation to the group, and it was during Jan’s presentation that he explained Neave’s needs to the group.

After hearing of her bravery, Jan’s fellow members leapt into action.

Jan said: “It wasn’t what I was expecting. I was just giving a bit of my personal background at the start of the presentation.

“But from that point on it was like BNI SOS. Firstly, Alan Varley from Links Architects came to look at how the property could be developed to cater for Neave’s needs.

“He completely understood the brief, and the design was more than we could possibly imagine. Alan battled with the powers-that-be to ensure the maximum space was approved, which we would never have been able to do ourselves.

“Then, in comes Rob Stinson of R Stinson Ltd, the builder and project manager. Rob was amazing. He worked with us and for us to ensure that the build was co-ordinated and completed to a really high standard.

“Rob utilised the services of fellow members Jamie Ainsworth of Pegasus Gas and Plumbing and Steve Uttley of Uttley Electrical as well as Jason Heald of Connected Smart for CCTV in Neave’s room.

“Ashraf Varacchia of Clitheroe Blinds provided the blinds and Danny Dyer of Pendle View Kitchens opened up the kitchen to provide a central family hub to complete a build which will meet Neave’s immediate and long-term needs.”

The completed work doubled the floor space of the house to give accessible ground-floor living for Neave and an additional bedroom above to allow for a future overnight carer.

A new ramp provides wheelchair access to the house, a utility room for Neave’s extra laundry requirements, and ground-floor bedroom, meaning she no longer needs to be carried upstairs.

A hoist now carries her into a wet room and a specialist bath allows her parents to wash her and shower her safely.

Jan said: “The build has transformed family life. Both our backs were in bad shape from lifting Neave everywhere for six years.

“I fell down the stairs once carrying her so she is now safe on the ground floor.

“It is a major issue if Maxine or I are incapacitated as we are necessary to care for Neave at all times.

“She has sensory lights and sounds in her bedroom, which she loves, and she can be safely transported to her bathroom to wash.

“The bath is height-adjustable, has power jets for hydrotherapy and a shower mat that sits on top so she can now be washed safely, and bath times are fun as well as practical.

“We had to relocate the kitchen to allow access to Neave’s extension and we now have a family space where Neave can sit in her wheelchair and join us at mealtimes, something we never had before,” Jan said.

“It has changed everything for the better and we can function like more of a family now, knowing Neave is safe and we have less chance of harming ourselves carrying her.

“I cannot thank the members of my BNI group enough. When I first joined, it was simply about having a way to grow my business. But the real difference it has made to our lives comes from a tangible sense of community, which I think is an amazingly valuable and sometimes rare thing in modern life.”

BNI meets for breakfast every Wednesday at The Globe Centre, Accrington.

For more information about BNI in Lancashire, go to www.networkingnorth.co.uk.