Shelter and B&Q: transforming homes and improving lives

Published: by Guest blog

This September, 33 B&Q colleagues delivered six makeovers in home, garden and community spaces. The makeovers took place over nine days and across the county to support people who have used Shelter’s services.

For each makeover, Shelter’s DIY Skills Advisers worked with families and individuals to decide what improvements were needed and ensure that their choices were at the heart of each task.

Our DIY Skills Adviser service provides practical help with tasks ranging from decorating to gardening and basic DIY training, to people struggling with bad housing or those settling into a new home following a period of homelessness.

The opportunity for our DIY Skills Advisers to work with volunteers from B&Q meant that bigger, more complex tasks and larger-scale projects could be undertaken to help individuals and families who needed more support. The enthusiasm, expert knowledge and passion of B&Q colleagues who volunteered their time made this possible, and truly helped to transform garden and living spaces and make them feel like home.

Find out more below about two of our communal garden and home makeover projects in Dorset and Merseyside:


The first of the makeovers took place in Dorset, where 11 B&Q volunteers helped to improve a children’s play area over two days. Colleagues worked together in teams to assemble an outdoor pavilion so that there would be a place to play when the weather is wet. They also refurbished the play area equipment by sanding it down and painting it, and dug out a running and cycle track so that there was a dedicated area for children to ride their bikes.


A team of three B&Q volunteers decorated a plain space living space that a family had recently moved in to. They used the family’s choices of paint, wallpaper and soft furnishings to reflect their personalities and make the house feel like a home.

The support from B&Q volunteers makes a huge difference to the lives of Shelter’s clients. ‘B&Q volunteers bring valuable skills to the home makeover projects,’ Ellen Myers, Shelter’s Senior Partnerships Manager, said. ‘Home makeovers are also a great team working opportunity, with colleagues coming together from stores across the region to complete tasks and make a huge impact.’

About the Shelter and B&Q partnership

B&Q and Shelter are working together because we believe everyone should have a safe place to call home. Since launching the partnership in 2017, B&Q colleagues and customers have raised over £3 million for Shelter. These donations fund Shelter’s DIY Skills Adviser Service.

Shelter’s DIY Skills Advisers cover London, Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Merseyside, Newcastle, Dorset, and Bristol. They are a team of trained home improvement specialists that empower communities across the country to feel happier and safer in their homes. Since the partnership began, the DIY Skills Advisers programme has helped over 3,000 people gain confidence in completing DIY tasks. 

Through B&Q’s partnership with Shelter, colleagues also volunteered their time to support our partner charities Focus Ireland and Housing Rights to deliver home makeovers in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Find out more about B&Q’s partnership with Shelter.