‘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

alex.smith@swwmedia.co.uk