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BLOCK STAR S; HERO BUILDER TRANSFORMS NURSE'S DRIVE FOR FREE AS SHE WORKS 12-HOUR SHIFTS AT GOOD HOPE HOSPITAL.

Byline: JACK EVANS

BIRMINGHAM nurse Rebecca Elkiraa was devastated when she paid PS3,100 to have her drive block-paved only for the workers to disappear while she worked 12-hour Covid shifts.

The 41-year-old NHS hero, who works at Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield, says she was left with a half-laid driveway, and pallets, bags of sand and rubble strewn across the front of her house.

It was only by chance that the intensive care nurse met another builder, who came to buy a car off her - and became her Good Samaritan.

Former professional boxer Brian Robb decided to complete the job for the brave key worker and crowdfunded PS1,100 to fund the materials on Facebook.

Selfless Brian and his team worked six 12-hour days for no money to salvage Rebecca's driveway at her home in Stechford. "None of us has worked through a pandemic before so it is very stressful for everybody," says married mum-of-two Rebecca. "But the public support has been amazing throughout.

"Brian is the extension of this public feeling. He and his sons got all the boys together and helped me out. They turned up in the heat, trying to get this completed for me.

"It was an amazing thing to do for someone. I felt I didn't deserve it. I cried when they finished. Their work was so fabulous my neighbours over the road have asked them to do their double-drive."

Rebecca adds: "Work is really hard at the minute.

"It is overwhelming, to be honest. I work 12 and a half hour shifts three days a week, and now they're an hour longer because of the time it takes to put on, and take off, PPE.

"So with everything that was going on, to have somebody show this level of generosity is just phenomenal."

Rebecca was selling her 2009 Renault Megane when Brian got in touch because he and his wife needed a car to get her to work.

"He said he'd pick the car up, and then saw the drive," says the Brummie nurse. "He asked if I'd like him and his boys to come down to have a look and give me a quote.

"I never thought he'd get it done for essentially nothing.

"We needed a whole supply of bricks, 10 tonnes of hard core and 14 tonnes of sand. I was incredibly grateful to Brian and the people who donated.

"Brian barely held on to the money before sending it to my bank. He and his sons and boys came from Telford every day but wouldn't take any money for petrol.

"He was getting up at 5am because he'd pick his son up and then some of the other boys in the van before getting here at 8am. I cooked a big meal for them every day because they were working such long days."

Builder Brian, 53, says he just wanted to help, and generous tradesmen lent vans, tools, diggers, skips and saws.

"I knew she was a nurse and in the coronavirus pandemic working 15-hour shifts, putting herself at risk," he says. "I wanted to help her salvage the drive because she doesn't need to worry about it when she's at work.

"I put a thing up on Facebook. I said an NHS nurse needed help and I needed about PS800 to fix her drive for her. We actually raised PS1,100.

"We ripped up the drive and filled two skips with 34 tonnes of rubbish in total, bought sand and stone, covered the edges and relaid the slabs.

"We were over the moon to help her when she's working through coronavirus, trying to keep people alive."

CAPTION(S):

Builder Brian Robb (front) with his team on the finished drive. Below, how Rebecca's drive looked before
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Author:JACK EVANS
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jun 9, 2020
Words:628
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