A Heanor gym instructor returned home from holiday to find her pals had clubbed together to perform a DIY makeover on her house.
Bridget Bonsall’s friends and family spent weeks organising a top to bottom renovation of her house on Wellington Street as a 50th birthday gift - in the style of the Nick Knowles hosted BBC TV show DIY SOS .
They had spare keys cut and waited until Bridget took a week’s holiday to Gran Canaria before redecorating the master bedroom and lounge, installing a fire place, a new kitchen and landscaping the garden.
Bridget, who works at William Gregg VC Leisure Centre says she was speechless when she returned home with daughter Annie, 18, who lives with her.
She said: “As I came round the corner all my family and friends involved were outside my house - it was just like 60 Minute Makeover on the telly - I was so emotional I couldn’t get out the car.”
The scheme was masterminded in December by her lifelong pal Denise Dady, 49, of Nottingham road Eastwood.
To put the plan into action - labelled ‘project B’ to keep it a secret - she enlisted the help of friends Louise Buck and Susie Allsop and began calling on favours from plasterers, painters and electricians she knew. Susie enlisted her husband’s firm Grass Track to fell a 30ft tree there.
Garden centre worker Denise, who met Bridget at Eastwood Comprehensive before they were teens, said she did it “because I love her and because she would never have gotten round to it herself - we just wanted to surprise her for her fiftieth!”
Mum-of-two Bridget had been trying to sell the home she has lived in for 22 years and jokingly called the ‘Shameless house’ after the Channel Four series set in a Manchester housing estate. “Now I don’t want to sell it,” she said.“I can’t find words to describe them, the time and effort they put in was amazing.”