Ospreys chip in to improve family home

This is South Wales article 04.08.11

OSPREYS players used to kicking a rugby ball upfield have tried hacking of a different sort.

And for the Pyle family it was the taking part that mattered more than the result.

  1. Ospreys players lend a hand

    Ospreys players lend a hand

The ten squad players joined big- hearted Swansea plasterer Jamie Denyer in hacking the render off the Pyles’ Portmead home, which had been letting in damp.

Centre Ben John, 20, of Loughor, took a breather from the coal face and said: “It’s really tough on the forearms, but the boys are doing fine.”

This was the third Ospreys volunteer day after events in Neath and   Bridgend. A club spokesman said it   was important for the club to reciprocate the support shown by the community, and hoped the work would make a difference.

Mr Denyer, 33, is also no stranger to spreading a little stardust in the community. In January 2009 he set up the Etseth project, giving up one day every month to help families in need. He was introduced to the Pyle family by one of 13 long-term unemployed people he has taken under his wing.

Mr Denyer said the rugby players were chipping in superbly with a job that would normally cost around £3,000.

“They’ve admitted it’s harder than being on the training ground!” he said.

For grandfather John Pyle, the sterling work has lifted one worry from his shoulders.

The 58-year-old looks after his terminally-ill wife, Barbara, and said he simply could not afford to re-render the front and side of his Cheriton Crescent home.

Earlier he had tried repainting the house in an attempt to beat the damp.

Mr Pyle said he was extremely grateful to Mr Denyer and the Ospreys.

“They are not just sports stars, they are everyday people,” he said.


Changing Lives by Changing Homes

This is South Wales article 22.03.12

With recession having such a strong hold across the UK, many families and businesses alike are feeling the squeeze. However a generous plasterer from Gorseinon still manages to find time outside of running his business to help the community. Jamie Denyer of Phoenix Plastering says that his business is succeeding, despite the credit crunch, and now he wants to pass a bit of his good fortune and happiness onto others.

For the past four years Jamie has been offering families facing a range of financial or emotional difficulties who have been nominated by friends and neighbours for an opportunity to receive a room make-over. The ETSETH project aims to change lives by changing rooms, through Enlarging the Spirit and Encouraging the Heart. Although to some people redecorating a room seems like very little to others it really can be life altering.

  1. ETSETH Volunteers


However it is not only the winners of the experience that are having their lives changed, Jamie has recently added tackling unemployment to the projects aims. With the help of local Welsh business The WorX. The project has now received a welcome injection of additional support in the form of 13 paid workers and two MPV’s to transport the teams to the premises selected for refurbishment.

The ETSETH trainees will now join the team of voluntary local traders which include Carpenters Chris Jones, Mike Jones and Stephen Holands; Builder Peter Ryan; Damp Proofer Dean Colclough and Painter and Decorator Emma Lisker. The local team have continued to give their time to ensure the project goes from strength to strength and continues to make a real difference to real members of the community.

Take for example 69-year-old Gareth Hughes who met compassionate plasterer Jamie Denyer toward the beginning of the projects launch. His daughter Melanie nominated him for the chance to get a room plastered for free by Jamie after she read about the opportunity in the local paper. Mr Hughes was chosen for the work after Jamie read about his heart- rending past few years.

Around six years ago Mr Hughes was diagnosed with a brain tumour near his ear. Its removal left him with a problem with his balance, and an inability to work or to renovate his home, which was where his parents lived, and where he was born. When his wife left him Mr Hughes’s life stalled and the house fell into disrepair. “It was going downhill fast, and there was nothing I could do about it,” Gareth said. “There was nothing to get up for”. “But now, with what Jamie’s done, it’s kicked it all off. From now on, I’ve got to pull my finger out and get the rest done”.

Jamie himself suffered with many personnel and financial issues previous to starting up ETSETH and it was this difficult time along with inspiration from his all time favourite T.V programme Extreme Makeover that lead to the birth of his project.

Jamie and his growing team are however still reliant solely on donations from both companies and the public. “I really could not have done it with out the help and support of these local businesses.” Says Jamie “How I see it is if people are in a difficult situation where negativity is rife, and the house they live in is in a chaotic state, then they would benefit from having just one room that’s been renovated with a lot of love, care and affection. That room can then be a room for the people to not only feel proud to be in but also where allot of positive thinking, focusing and assessing can be done.”

“That one room can be the catalyst of progression and growth, because if you enlarge the spirit then you will encourage the heart, simple. The response we had so far has been unbelievably overwhelming the saying “there’s always somebody worse off than yourself” has never been more evident to me since starting this and that is something we should all focus on, being thankful and grateful for what we have got as opposed to dwelling on what we haven’t got is key and paramount to our own inner peace”

‘I was crying when Jamie said he’d help’

This is South Wales article 02.02.12

A MUM has compared a plasterer to “an angel” after he agreed to build a room for her sick son for free.

Jamie Denyer, 34, does free work for needy families via requests on his website.

  1. Pictured is kind-hearted tradesman Jamie Denyer with Bailey Challis

    Pictured is kind-hearted tradesman Jamie Denyer with Bailey Challis

Among those asking for help was the family of three-year-old Bailey Challis, a blind, autistic boy from Port Tenant.

Mum Charlie, 27, emailed  Jamie asking him to insulate their garage to make way for a  sensory room — an interactive space for people with special needs. He immediately replied and said “yes”.

“Apart from my husband and my dad, Jamie is the nicest man I’ve ever met — he is so nice for doing this,” Charlie said.

“I emailed him asking if he could help with the room and he replied straight away and said he would.

“When he came to see us he was so good with Bailey.

“My mother and I were crying when he agreed to do it.”

Bailey was born with septo-optic displasia, a rare, genetic brain condition which causes blindness.

He also had autism diagnosed three months ago.

Charlie and dad Ben, 32,  bought their house in Marcroft Road in May 2011. They said they chose it for the very reason it had a garage which could be turned into a sensory room.

Swansea Council said it had also been involved in the process.

A spokesman said: “An occupational therapist has visited the home to discuss potential adaptations with the family.

“We are arranging for a surveyor to visit them as part of the next steps in the process.”

Jamie will start work after the room has been assessed by sensory room specialists.

“Jamie is doing the plastering for free, but the sensory material will still cost us something,” Charlie added.

“We are paying for it with money we have raised over the past three years.

“We were fundraising to send Bailey for experimental treatment abroad — but when we were told the treatment did not work, we still had the £6,000 we had raised left over.

“So we can use that to pay for the sensory materials.”

Jamie said that as soon as he got the email from Charlie he knew he had to act.

“It’s the age of the little boy and what he has to contend with which made me want to do it,” said the charitable tradesman.  “The sensory room will benefit him beyond belief.”

Jamie said he agreed to plaster and insulate the garage and ready the space for the specialists.

“It’s to help him progress in life,” added Jamie, who has been doing jobs for free in Swansea since 2008.

“When I first started doing these jobs for people who need them I prepared myself for what I thought would come in.

“But I did not prepare myself enough because some situations are horrendous and it really does tug at the heartstrings.

“In terms of deciding which ones to do, and what to do first, it is just a case of going with your gut feeling then   going out and meeting the people.

“The whole project was just borne out of me going through a challenging time emotionally and financially.

“Around 2009 there was so much doom and gloom  I thought enough was enough and I wanted to spread a bit of positivity.”

Jamie’s website is www.etseth.co.uk


‘The gratitude we get makes it worth the effort’

This is South Wales article 08.12.10

JAMIE Denyer is probably the closest thing there is at this time of the year to a real-life Santa’s Little Helper!

The best part of two years after first offering his trade skills to deserving families for free, he has never really looked back.

In that time the service has grown and grown as more volunteers have got on the altruistic project.

Now he is about to take another new step going out into schools to talk about positivity.

It is all a big turnaround for   plasterer Jamie  of Dan y Graig Road in Gorseinon who just a couple of years ago went through his own 18-month period of personal and financial problems.

Yes, he says, it has all given him a new outlook on life.

“We can take something from every project that we do that makes us have what I call an attitude of gratitude — where we are grateful for what we have got rather than dwelling on what we haven’t,” he says.

“I thought I prepared myself for the work, but  what I didn’t prepare myself for was the circumstances — the poorly children, bereaved families, issues of domestic violence. It is an emotional rollercoaster that you experience but it is all for the good. It is nice to brighten up somebody’s day. It breaks my heart that I can not help every one of them but you have to draw a line somewhere.”

While the project called Etseth — enlarging the spirit and encouraging the heart — initially offered to plaster a room, it has now expanded to take on larger projects as more trades have come on board.

Jamie, 32, says: “There are now between eight and 10 volunteers on board,” he says. “Each one  dedicates roughly one day a month. I will give up two or three days   because I am there at the start, middle and end.

“We go in to people’s houses and blitz it and  people are made well aware it can take a certain amount of time because we give up our time from our paid jobs.”

Jamie started Etseth through an appeal in the Evening Post and the success of the project has grown from strength to strength.

He says he wanted to inject positivity into deserving people’s lives after going through his own personal difficulties.

“I met a girl from Swansea, who is now my wife, on a random night out in Brighton, and I started to view things in a different light,” he says. “I was very grateful for what I had, and  knew people were a million times worse off than myself.

“I just thought what could I do to spread positivity if people were in negative situations. So I thought I would dedicate initially one day a month to help others. More and more trades heard about what I was doing and the trades from my paid business that I had made contact with were willing to help out with materials.”

And this winter, the project is offering free boiler repairs during winter months for the elderly.

Jamie explains: “The guy wants to remain anonymous, but we are looking at around two a month. It could even be advice or coaching over the phone. A 30-second phone call could solve their problems whereas people would normally pay  a call-out charge.”

Corey Jones, 19, of Grenfell Avenue, Penyrheol, a plasterer, says he enjoys helping other less fortunate than himself.

He says: “I am glad I can help through my skills. It makes the job worthwhile and it is enjoyable knowing I am working to help somebody.”

Jamie says the appreciation and enjoyment he gains keeps the project worthwhile.

“Unlike the material aspect of it you can see a difference of a room but it is the appreciation of the gratitude shown,” he says.

“We can kind of take something from every job. For instance a job that we have done in the past where a four-year-old boy has autism and leukaemia and yet he was still  running around with a smile on his face: it shows we have nothing to moan about really.”

Before Christmas two young boys, one a young carer, will also have new bedrooms.

Carpenter Steve Hollands, 31, of Killay,  got involved after seeing a picture of Jamie in the newspaper.

“I asked if could get involved by helping out a few days here and there,” he says.

“It helps to put people’s trust back into trades people, so many people have been ripped off in the past.”

Don Edwards, of Gwernos, Morriston, is just one of the people to benefit from the project.

The 68-year-old who is registered blind says because of his disability he is limited what he can do in his house.

Jamie and his band of helpers plastered and decorated his room giving it a bright makeover.

He says the project is an “outstanding act of kindness.”

School talks are scheduled to start soon.

“I am thankful I went through those hard times and did not give up the ghost and spiral downwards. I have become interested in counselling which is something I may look to go into afterwards. Sometimes just lending an ear can be worth its weight in gold.”

“I hope this is an example that people don’t have to have an amazing amount of financial backing to do something good for other people.

“We all have a skill, we all have a talent, and we have to use it in a productive and positive way to serve others and help others out especially in these hard economical times.

“A motto I have come to associate with was said by Winston Churchill, that ‘we make a living of what we get but we make a life of what we give’. It really is very true.”

Frankie’s aboard

In the light of so much negative press about my mate frankie Coco.. I would like to let people know about the real Mr cocozza…
Iv’e known him since he was 6 years old, he’s best mates with two of my nephews, and a very dear family friend! He has always shown nothing but kindness, good manners and consideration whenever he’s been in the company of my family, and that is the Frankie i know and love!
What people have to realize is, in the cloak and dagger world of these “instant fame” shows, where “ratings” are THE main objective on producers minds, there will be things blown out of proportion, things over elaborated, and just flat out LIES told to get those “ratings” (trust me..if only you knew)
Due to some of the things that were shown and said about Frank, he has had to endure some horrific and vile stick being thrown his way, but he has shown what a strong character he is by taking it on the chin, and cracking on…I was over the moon that peoples perspective of him was changed during his stint in CBB!!
But things that Frankie is not known for is things like supporting ETSETH, and the time both my nephews (connor & Callum) and Frankie came up to help me with one of the makeovers! I even contacted the papers to let them know about what it was they were doing, but they didn’t want to know!!! I guess it’s true what they say “Scandal sells” And it’s a shame that in todays society, people would rather spread the bad, nasty and negative, as oppossed to lifting spirits with the good!!!
ETSETH is here to change that!
Thankyou Coco.. blessings to you brother!!

Celebrity backing

It’s nice for celebs to be lending their support to the ETSETH cause!!!

The lovely Ruth Madoc

The beautiful Alex Jones lending support

From the makeover daddy


Front:Rob-sound man, Geraint-cameraman

Me, Emma and Hannah

Main room at the start!

Main room at the END!!!


Between the last week of January and the first week of February 2011, Telesgope productions filmed the ETSETH project for BBC wales.The programme was given the title “Welsh room rescue”
This was a very proud moment for me, as it was the proof that ETSETH was gaining recognition, and more importantly, would spread to a wider audience, and would give us the scope to help so many more people.
The renovation was a derelict extension, for Sharon, and her daughter Katie…
It was 2 weeks of hard graft, but the end product shows it was worth it!
The ETSETH team did me proud:
Steve Hollands, Corey Jones, Peter Ryan, Emma Lizska and Hannah Morgan, THANKYOU!!
Steve at “KSC carpets”, Tania at “Chic blinds” and “Selco” builders merchants Donated!

Bedroom next to main room

Steve, Me and Corey


Good Neighbour:Jamie Denyer

EVERYBODY needs a good neighbour, and that’s what most of South West Wales has in Jamie Denyer.

The selfless dad from Gorseinon has been donating his expertise as a plasterer to those who need it most.

Jamie was motivated by personal problems. He was going through a divorce, away from his home, and responsible for the livelihoods of two other plasterers. Things looked bleak. But he met a girl from Swansea on a night out, they fell in love, and now he’s fallen in love with the city and, he says, wants to give something back.

He has helped community groups, individuals whose houses have badly needed updating, and is currently working on a room for a thee-year-old boy with leukaemia.

His next project will be for a 14-year-old who is a young carer looking after his twin brother, older brother, and mum.

Although he originally made contact with the Evening Post through a reporter, Jamie has never asked for publicity for his plastering business.

In fact, his company name wasn’t mentioned in the first story, and we now refer to him as being from Etseth, which is the name of the project. To prove he does the jobs he says he does, he asks the people who have had work done to ring the Post.

Emma Judd, who wrote the first story about Jamie, said: “I cannot think of any other person I have ever written about or met personally that has ever been so selfless, caring, and willing to help other people less fortunate than him.”