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A quartet of Miller Homes employees from the North East have landed back in the UK after helping to build family homes in India as part of Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village Trip.

Over five days the group built better lives for the Irula Community in Puducherry to improve poor living conditions.

The majority of homes in the area are made from mud with a straw roofs and often flood during the monsoon season, and in some cases are completely destroyed leaving families homeless.

During the trip the Miller Homes team worked with families from the community to construct Habitat Homes, installing 18 pad foundations and reinforced concrete columns up to ground level which is enough for two homes, doubling the target they set out to achieve.

The whole community will benefit from the build as they will have homes that are safe and secure in different climates, made from bricks and concrete with metal roofs.

Volunteers included regional managing director, Patrick Arkle; North East sales manager, Donna Brown; administration assistant, Liz Moat; and personal assistant and office manager, Emma Bartle. They were joined by Patrick’s wife and daughter, Liz’s husband, and six representatives from some of Miller Homes’ contacts and consultants in the region including Pod Architects and WYG.

The group entirely funded the trip which formed part of Habitat for Humanity Great Britain’s New Hope Builders Campaign, and witnessed first-hand how a safe and secure home can improve many aspects of life for those in need.

Patrick Arkle, regional managing director at Miller Homes North East, said: “A stand out moment from the trip was the warm welcome we received from the local school children on the day we visited them, moving us to tears. Throughout the duration of our time in Puducherry there was a tremendous spirit in the community and the work rate from everyone involved increased due to the total commitment shown.

“We worked alongside the couples which the Habitat Homes were being built for and this was particularly rewarding. The interpreter said that they were humbled to be treated as equals. It was a truly amazing experience and one which I’ll never forget.”

Emma Bartle, who was a team leader for Habitat for Humanity on the trip, added: “I’ve volunteered for Habitat for Humanity since 2016 after having the opportunity to take part in a Global Village Trip to Malawi with Miller Homes. This India trip was my first time as team leader and it was fantastic to share the experience with colleagues who I work with day-to-day, and for them to see first-hand the difference the project makes to people’s lives.

“We were welcomed with such joy and happiness and the local community was incredibly appreciative of our efforts, making all of the hard work even more worthwhile. I’m already looking forward to my next Global Village Trip.”

Habitat for Humanity is a global development charity which works to help eliminate poverty housing and homelessness by giving hope to some of the most vulnerable people in the world.  This not only includes providing them with a safe, decent place to call home but creating thriving communities which they can become part of.

To find out more on Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village Trip visit https://www.habitat.org/volunteer/travel-and-build/global-village, and for more information on Miller Homes North East visit www.millerhomes.co.uk/locations/north-east-of-england.aspx.

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