For starters, myself I'm Dave Riley are started here at Eagle Security in 1992 as an apprentice and I've been here ever since. I'm now one of the company Directors here and look after the sales and engineering side of Eagle Security. That's me on the far right of the picture.
We really had an amazing time on our diy sos build but how did it all begin, how did we get there and why did we do it are all questions I’ve been asked many times now since we got involved so I thought it I’d share the story.
I don’t do a great deal of tv, just to put that out there from the start, odd maybe but it’s not a big part of what I do in my non work time, but I had heard of diy sos and of course children in need, I’d seen a few episodes of diy sos but that was really it. So when an old school friend (Hi Heidi) shared a link on social media asking for local companies and volunteers to come forward and donate products and/or services for a diy sos big build for children in need at fellow local business Treetops and In the office the next day one of our senior engineers Martin came in waving the same social media post at me, I thought I’m sure Eagle Security can do that !! and why not ? I did it, I filled in the forms and thought that would probably be the last I hear of it.
The build was to be at Treetops, a local hospice just down the road from us at Risley. Now Treetops I was very aware of. Our company owner Jack is a friend of Treetops and visits quite regularly. “They do fantastic work for residents in the area” He said, “dealing with all kinds of issues in their life from end of life care to befriending services, drop in café and help for bereaved children”. On a personnel level and another reason to offer assistance is that my own father passed away very suddenly at the age of 43, leaving a 9-year-old me and my older sisters suddenly without a Dad. There was no bereavement counselling help for me in the 70’s you just simply had to …deal with it. I know having a Treetops back then would have been so beneficial for me. Another reason to get involved!
The big build diy sos were taking on was for a dedicated bereavement and counselling building for children using treetops, currently they were sharing with adults but this isn’t ideal for both parties. That was the build and it was to be completed in 10 days
So the phone rang….
So there am I sat at my desk and “drinking coffee and knowing things” which is apparently what I do when the office phone rings. It’s promptly answer and a bemused Melanie our office admin says “ I have a call for you, it’s from the BBC ???”…. well you better put them through. We’d got the call !!!
Yes!! We’d got a call asking for our help, and an invite to the trade’s day at Treetops on August 15th, 2023.
Trades day is for all those invited to be part of the build to come and see what it’s all about, see plans and meet a few of the celebs from diy sos. Rewind to the beginning of the story, I don’t do tv, I recognised no body, and gave everyone a giggle from my lack of celebrity knowledge…oh dear.
Trades day is also when we receive confirmation of what we might be asked to provide for the build so Security alarms and cctv it is, that’s easy it’s what we’ve done everyday for the last 40 years. Exciting news to tell all the staff!!!
Stuff …we need stuff.
A project like this and anything we do needs the best equipment and we have just the people to provide it. So, I set about compiling a list of equipment needed for the task, with one difference from the norm…. I needed it all for FREE.
I spoke to our suppliers, and they all agreed to supply everything we needed for the magic figure of …zero!
So once again I must thank Dahua UK, CSL, EMCS, Orisec and Oprema and in a rush at the last minute RTR Services and BEA Sensors…. Theres another story there.
I have almost 35 years of experience in the security industry and our engineers have been doing this a while to, we install alarms and cctv everyday, it’ll be easy….won’t it.
Well have you ever tried to work in the same place as 80 other people at the same time, all with an equally important task to do. I’ve never installed anything whilst being stood on the outside lane of the M1 in rush hour….well picture that and that’s what it felt like.
Our engineers spent a total of around 8 days of the 10 on site, working in the busiest site you could possibly imagine, it was also the most good-natured site any of us have ever been on. Then there’s the catering well, lets just say they know how to feed you at diy sos.
To keep us on track they started early and finished late, gave up their weekend and never complained, they all volunteered to help, anything for a sausage roll...
We had lots of celebrity visits from the likes of Jeremy Vine, Zone Ball, Kate Bottley, Scott Mills, Sam Ryder and Sophie Ellis Bexter. There were Tv cameras everywhere, tradespeople in every available space and it rained and rained some more…but it was all going to plan when.
So guess who forgot the main front doors needed automation !!!! well someone did, late on day 4 they remembered. So I’m sat at my desk…. yes probably drinking coffee. Martin rings from site, can we help, we need door automation here, it’s been forgot, can we help!
We install door automation, it’s something else we do. So, a few phone calls later and up steps RTR Services and Bea sensors with an offer of free door automation. 9.32am the next morning (Friday) it’s at Eagle Hq …amazing and ready for installation on the Monday…. project completes on Wednesday and the big reveal is Thursday……no panic then.
Can we fix it…. YES! we can, with a little help from RTR’s Head of Technical Carl Cornish who had kindly joined us for the day due to the tight schedule we did it.
The Big Reveal
So we’d done it everything was ready and almost all of our team along with representatives of our generous suppliers and a few other hundred trades people and volunteers where all there for the big reveal day. The reveal day when the build itself is as the title says is when the build is revealed for the first time to the people from Treetops and those that would benefit the most from it.
It was a very humbling experience as we were first met by all the staff of Treetops who had all come out to give us a cheer and a round of applause. We also got to meet some of the children who would benefit from the new counselling centre as well as the staff from Treetops.
There was more filming of course, more celebrities to mingle with, photographs to be taken and all wrapped up with a few songs from Sophie Ellis Bexter.
So that was that we were back at work the next day and everything felt a bit flat. Working on Diy Sos had given everyone involved a huge sense of euphoria, a sense of excitement and a feeling of what a great and worthwhile project to be part of something to tell the grandkids about is a comment I heard a lot.
Whilst work here at Eagle Security is never mundane, in my 31+ years of working here it’s never been that, but it did take a little while to come down.
So, would we do it again, for me and everyone here involved the answer would be a resounding yes!! It was for us all an amazing experience and we got to work with and meet some amazing people, it left us with memories and friends for a lifetime…...So until the next one 😉
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