In the wake of a devastating house fire, a Wallasey homeowner is extending his heartfelt thanks to the compassionate individuals and businesses that stepped forward to provide unwavering support during his time of need.

Ant Ryan lost much of his home and personal belongings in the fire in September 2023, the same week that he was due to undergo a heart procedure. To make matters worse, the damage was not covered by his insurer due to a technicality.

However, out of this nightmarish situation, an uplifting story of hope and community solidarity emerged. Following the damage to his family home, local business owners and friends came together to help him.

DACS, a family-run business founded in 1972 and based in North Wales, designs, manufactures, installs and maintains a range of high performance automation and electrical systems for a diverse range of manufacturing industries operating throughout the UK and Europe.

DACS and their long-term subcontracting electrical company EES Limited provided over £7,000 worth of repair work completely free of charge. Lesley Owens, Finance Director of DACS, has been at the company for 14 years and is a close friend of the family.

When Lesley read about the fire and Ant’s insurance not covering him, she and her daughter Jade went over to the house with donations of clothes and other essentials. Lesley recalls: “They said they couldn’t even offer us a cup of tea as they had no electricity and explained about all the wires melting in the fire. That got me thinking whether DACS could help in any way”.

She continued: “I spoke to my Managing Director, Jon Gray, and also Alan and Christine Guilfoyle of EES Limited and asked if we could share the burden of costs between us and help them out. Alan and Christine were happy to help, so Alan went over to survey the damage and determine the work required, and it went on from there. It was heart warming to see them go from no hope to hope”.

DACS provided two labourers to assist in stripping out the rooms, removing all of the damaged furniture and debris, as well as four skips in which to dispose of it, and all the new electrical materials required, including new hardwired smoke detectors. EES Limited provided electricians to hack walls, strip out and install new wiring where required and fitted a new distribution board.

DACS prides itself on the positive culture within the business and supports their staff through out-of hours activities such a sponsoring a local darts team and buying a full football kit for the entire team of the son of an employee.

The business also sponsors staff and supports customers and suppliers at charity events and donated a Smart TV and an X-Box to local raffles in Wallasey. Dave Burdett, who owns DB Windows in Wallasey, kindly replaced a uPVC window and reglazed a second at his own expense. Many others personally donated essentials that were lost in the fire and donated money to help out.

Ant in particular thanks Pauline Carroll for her support, Maria and Lesley for their clothing donations, Steven Jones for quickly getting the power turned back on and Paul Stanley for his discounted work on the damaged roof.

Ant said: “I am extremely grateful for all the generosity and commitment to helping us get through this challenging period. These acts of compassion serve as a shining example of the strength and unity within our community. In the face of adversity, humanity and empathy can make a lasting impact. I extend my heartfelt appreciation to those above and everyone who supported us during this difficult time.

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