Stoke & Staffordshire

Facebook plea floods Lee Rigby charity with volunteers

Lee Rigby House Image copyright KEITH LAWSON
Image caption Drummer Lee Rigby was 25 when he was murdered in Woolwich in 2013

A Facebook post asking for help to complete a retreat for veterans and service families has been shared nearly 50,000 times.

Hundreds of volunteers have offered to help finish the Lee Rigby House in North Staffordshire.

An ex-serviceman posted an appeal after seeing only three people "struggling to get the place finished" before opening in September.

A trustee said the build is on track, but they're grateful for any help.

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The Lee Rigby Foundation was established by the mother of the fusilier who was murdered in Woolwich in 2013 and has gone on to set up the Lee Rigby Home in Oakmoor.

Image copyright FACEBOOK
Image caption Mr Lawson's original post received over 6,000 reactions

Keith Lawson visited the home to do some work on Wednesday and said his phone has been "ringing off the hook" since he shared the post online.

"The people working there are veterans themselves. I expected to see a house full of people beavering away so I was surprised when it was just three of them.

"Already we've filled five A4 sheets of paper with names and phone numbers of trades people that want to help."

Image copyright KEITH LAWSON
Image caption Mr Lawson is an ex-serviceman himself but now runs a blind-manufacturing business

The building for Lee Rigby House was donated by local charity, the Kendo Nagasaki Foundation, and will house seven people at a time.

The foundation runs purely on volunteers, and Roz MacDonald is one of two trustees. She says the house will offer somewhere for people to unwind.

"Nobody else is doing quite what we're doing. Here is it just completely peaceful, people can feel the weights of their problems being lifted."

Image copyright KEITH LAWSON
Image caption The house hopes to open to veterans and service families in September

The charity is looking for people to help with finishing touches including furnishing, flooring, and landscaping.

Work has been ongoing for two years and the charity feels confident the house will be completed by September.

Ms MacDonald described the response as "tremendous- the most welcome deluge".

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