Cairns tradies almost home in bid to renovate house for mate
THIS renovated Queenslander will be the ultimate Christmas present for a local family in need, but a few more helpful elves are needed to apply the finishing touches before it can be called home.
Cairns plumber Liam Downes and his young family are still in Brisbane as he recovers from the tragic fall that left him with quadriplegic injuries in March.
They'll return to Cairns in mid-February after almost a year of rehabilitation, and in the meantime local tradies have been working overtime to get the family's Manunda house renovated and wheelchair-friendly.
Former builder Michael Moore, who is overseeing the project, hopes a tiler can donate a few days next week to lay about 80sq m of tiles that have been donated to the renovation.
"I know a lot of tradies are busy at this time of year, because most people want their jobs done before Christmas,'' Mr Moore said.
"But it would be fantastic if someone could spare some time for this.''
Since The Cairns Post helped launch the Liam Downes Appeal in August, the community-driven project has collected donations of materials, labour and cash to help get the job done.
Speaking from Brisbane yesterday, Mr Downes said it was hard to express the immense gratitude he felt for the Cairns community, the tradespeople and the suppliers who had donated to the appeal.
"It's fantastic having that weight off my mind, to not have to worry about the renovation and to know that (partner) Meaghan doesn't have to worry about it,'' he said.
"It lets us focus on recovery it's a long road, but fingers crossed I'll be able to pick up the boys again.''
Mr Moore reckons almost $150,000 will have been donated by the time the Downes family returns home early next year.
Any tiler who wants to offer their services can contact Michael Moore on 0408 033 613. Cash donations can also be made at liamdownesappeal.com
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Pitching in: Scaffolder Ray Nicholls at work on Liam Downes' house in Manunda while Mick Dowling and Michael Moore look on. Picture: ANNA ROGERS