What inspired you to start this
I grew up in and around poverty. I witnessed my family and friends struggle - the lot: crime, drugs, prison, violence, mental health - even death. I’ve been there and seen it all. But I’ve also had help and guidance to be in a position to make a difference.’
Finding the punch line
Cyle’s life could easily have gone south, but his fightback against tough odds gained a massive boost in the boxing gym, Carney’s Community, set up five years ago by youth worker George Turner.
Carney’s Community, in Battersea, is more than a gym; it’s a multi-dimensional project helping the disadvantaged and those most at risk, using a range of practical and groundbreaking methods.
Cyle says: ‘I suffered depression for years. If it wasn’t for people like George, who never gave up on me, I’d still be in that dark place now. He helped me to find myself and see my worth, not just in myself but in my kids, too.’
When Cyle decided to start Good Guys Decorating, he went down to Carney’s Community and they supported him with the start up of the business after going over Cyle's notes. He had significant experience in the industry, so he decided to take the leap of faith and start up Good Guys Decorating.
But he wanted their work to benefit more than just those fortunate clients who could afford to pay.
When he put his idea to George, it all swung into action.
George Turner says: ‘Part of our role is to work with members who show an interest and passion in wanting to start their own businesses and projects, ranging from different things like catering, cleaning, healthy eating, music, personal training and fitness.
‘It’s my job to talk with established local businesses to seek their support. Most are open to the idea because helping people get paying work has a dramatic effect on their lives and decision process.
‘We are hugely grateful for all of the help we received from Battersea Power Station at the start up point of Good Guys Decorating.
‘The Good Guys’ idea impressed them so much that they agreed to support them by arranging a launch, as well as offering mentoring.
‘Not only that, Cyle will encourage those who benefit from their service to shadow him and his team on the job, if they wish, so they can learn more about the trade and ways to maintain and improve their homes.’
Our First Project
These are images of our first "give back job" under the Good Guys name.
His name is Ronan, 17 years old, who lives at home with his mum. His room was in very poor condition, with nothing in it at all. Not just that but he has also been suffering from mental health issues.
He had not long ago come home from a short stay in hospital after trying to commit suicide but since then he has managed to pull himself out of the cycle he was stuck in. He just started his first job and having his room refurbished has been a massive weight off his chest.
We’ve never been in a room that was that bad before, but we did the best we could do to give him some normality back. Along with painting it we also, thanks to the help of one of our clients, managed to give him his first double bed, a rug, bedside cabinet, PlayStation 4, hi-fi system, a new bedroom door and wardrobe.
Doing his room was a real eye opener and reminder as to why we want to do this.
The Good Guys set aside a percentage of their earnings from each job to decorate those in need for free.
Who qualifies for the free decorating?
Normally people with whom Carney’s Community is already working with or others from organisations/businesses they have working relationships with.
The Good Guys’ painting and decorating experience
Cyle, 28, completed his level 1 & 2 & 3 in City and Guilds in 2014 and now has over 5 years experience.