Family of Simon Dobbin ‘utterly overwhelmed’ after DIY SOS offers to rebuild Mildenhall home

PUBLISHED: 14:15 13 October 2017 | UPDATED: 14:15 13 October 2017

Simon Dobbin's daughter Emily pictured with her dad who received devastating injuries in the attack in Southend. Picture: PROVIDED BY THE FAMILY

Simon Dobbin's daughter Emily pictured with her dad who received devastating injuries in the attack in Southend. Picture: PROVIDED BY THE FAMILY

Archant

A Mildenhall family whose lives were devastated by a ferocious attack have been “utterly overwhelmed” after a prime time TV renovation show offered to rebuild their home.

Mark Millar, the build manager on DIY SOS, pictured with Simon Dobbin, whose home he will be improving on the show. Picture: NICOLE DOBBIN Mark Millar, the build manager on DIY SOS, pictured with Simon Dobbin, whose home he will be improving on the show. Picture: NICOLE DOBBIN

DIY SOS: The Big Build will be improving the Mildenhall home of Simon Dobbin to help deliver the care he needs after an unprovoked attack by a gang of men in March 2015 left him with permanent brain damage.

Mr Dobbin, a loving father, husband and football fan, was set-upon by around 25 men after watching his team Cambridge United play away at Southend FC. He was left fighting for his life in intensive care after a massive stroke and bleed on the brain.

The 13 men convicted of involvement in the attack were described as acting like a “pack of animals”. They were jailed for more than 42 years in total, but Nicole Dobbin, Mr Dobbin’s wife, said the family had been handed a “life sentence”.

Simon Dobbin, before he was injured, at a Cambridge United match. Picture: PROVIDED BY THE FAMILY Simon Dobbin, before he was injured, at a Cambridge United match. Picture: PROVIDED BY THE FAMILY

She is now her husband’s full-time carer. He sleeps downstairs in a hospital bed and is washed with a bowl of water.

Their lives have been completely changed by the attack. But the support from the TV show, Mrs Dobbin says, has given the family a “massive pick me up”.

“I’m totally and utterly overwhelmed by all the offers of help,” she added.

“I’m very excited that Simon will now have the space he deserves.

“Since the court case it has been very difficult, but with the help of DIY SOS and the response from the community it has been a massive pick me up for myself, Simon and our daughter, Emily.

“We now have something to look forward to and are excited about Christmas in a new home.

“The changes that will be made to the house will improve not only Simon’s life, but ours as a family.”

The renovation, which takes place November 14-23, will see Nick Knowles and his team rely on the generosity of local tradespeople and suppliers to transform the family’s lives.

The home is currently said to be unfit for purpose, inhibiting Mr Dobbin’s rehabilitation and a massive strain on the family’s life.

DIY SOS is seeking volunteers and companies to “step up and help this family in need”.

Work includes providing a downstairs extension with all the bespoke care provision that Mr Dobbin will need.

Email DIYSOSMildenhall@bbc.co.uk if you can help.

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