Dream home for family

Community pitches in

SARAH JARVIS
Last updated 05:00 08/08/2014
Kirkcaldie family
JOHN BISSET / Fairfax NZ

FOREVER GRATEFUL: Temuka’s Kirkcaldie family has recently moved into a new home, thanks to community generosity. Pictured, from left, Amy Hollamby and Peter Burt from Stonewood Homes, and Andrew, Kim and Carmela Kirkcaldie.

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After a traumatic year, Temuka's Kirkcaldie family now has one less thing to worry about thanks to the generosity of people and businesses in South Canterbury.

The family has moved into a new home.

Tragedy struck last year when Stephen Kirkcaldie was killed while cycling home from Fonterra's Clandeboye plant on March 28.

A husband to Carmela and father to Cassie, 18, Kim, 17, and Andrew, 14, the 55-year-old always had big plans for their John St home.

With a proud smile, Carmela Kirkcaldie said her "keen handyman" of a husband had a habit of starting jobs around the home, but not finishing them.

"All he wanted was to give my children a warm home to live in."

At the time of his death, the two-bedroom wooden John St home was in desperate state of repair.

The mother said she wanted to build a "dream home" for her children and went to talk with Stonewood Homes about her plans.

Stonewood Homes salesman Peter Burt said from the outset he could see the hurt the family was going through and wanted to help get them into a new home with as little stress as possible.

"But Carmela was still grieving and struggling to make decisions. She did not really know where to start or what was involved," he said.

Burt said a decision was made to get behind the Kirkcaldies and help them build their new home.

"It was pretty straightforward, really. We saw someone in the community who needed help and we put our hand up," he said.

Burt said the company approached suppliers, and other contractors, who were all keen to be involved.

Mico, Harvey Norman, Maree Hynes Interiors, Flooring Xtra, Rooney Earthmoving and Paul Smith Earthmoving discounted product and services.

Burt also contacted Fonterra and Stephen's friends at the taekwando club, who helped clear and tidy up the section.

"There were many people who wanted to help but didn't really know how, or what they could do to best help the family."

Carmela is delighted with the family's new home.

"I told the girls when we walked in, Stephen will be watching us . . . he would have loved it . . . words just can't express how grateful and thankful we are."

Fonterra and the wider Temuka community also raised funds to send her and Andrew home to visit family in the Philippines. The pair returned this week.

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- The Timaru Herald

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