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Registered Charity Number 1156595
The Hummingbird Centre
Grange Courtyard
Station Road


OX26 5DX
01869 244 244
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December 2019

DIY SOS Transformation complete

It may have taken slightly longer than a weekend – but the final result was worth the wait.

On Saturday, The Hummingbird Centre unveiled its brand-new holistic building which offers therapeutic treatments for people from Bicester and all the surrounding areas that are affected by cancer.

The new facility boasts dedicated therapy rooms for a range of complementary treatments and its all thanks to builders and tradesman from the local area.

Earlier this year the Hummingbird Centre put out an appeal for local builders and companies to get involved in a DIY SOS style transformation of a former office into a holistic treatment building in just one weekend.

The charity, which supports people who are affected by cancer and their families, was inundated with offers of help, but traders quickly realised the make-over would not be as straight forward as first thought.

Fast-forward three months and after plenty of blood, sweat, tears and blisters, the doors to the new building have opened.

Founder Mechelle Harris said: “This is the final piece of the Hummingbird Centre jigsaw. The new facility looks amazing and it’s all down to the small army of local tradespeople who have made it happen.”

Fiona Wastie, who led the project, said: “These lovely people have done all this for nothing and we are so very humbled. They all have families, children and mortgages, yet have given up their evenings and weekends to make our dream a reality. Without the support of all these individuals and businesses this project would have cost thousands of pounds and we would still be at a very early stage."

“We have been humbled and amazed by the extraordinary generosity of all those who have been involved.”

Local tradesmen have completely overhauled the former office, which has involved tearing up the old floor, all electrics, installing new pipes, toilet, sink, kitchen facilities, stud walls, plastering and painting .

Mirella Lingwood, of building firm Leon Construction which led the work, said: “When we saw the DIY SOS call in the local paper, both Leon and Ted, our Directors, instantly said yes we will help."

“Our staff and sub-contractors - Eco-lectrical, NT Plumbing and James O’Brian Plastering - worked on the project, both during work hours and in their own time. We were also supported by several of our suppliers including John Nicholls Banbury who supplied us with the majority of the materials, Howdens Kidlington donated the kitchen and The Granite House donated the worktop. It was a real team effort."

“As a company we try to carry out some charitable work each year, and the Hummingbird Centre is such a wonderful charity, completely run by volunteers so we felt that it would be a good cause.”

The Highfield Social Club donated funding which paid for a new electric massage bed and stool, Bicester based Andura Paint specialist supplied all the paint, Lamps Carpets for Less supplied and fitted all the flooring and Village Fabrics donated blinds for two of the charity’s buildings and two members from Bicester Tradesmen Direct literally had to scrape all the old carpet and glue from the floor so the new flooring could be laid.

The Hummingbird Centre opened its doors in 2014 after a promise Mechelle made to her late father Raymond Hurcombe to create something good out of their loss as a family.

So far, The Hummingbird Centre has supported more than 16,500 people and has become very much part of the community. It relies 100 per cent on donations and volunteers to enable it to operate as every penny raised goes back into the centre. To find out more or to book email or view

Story written by Sam Mcgregor

Cherwell Media Services, email