“I want to show everyone that having a disability shouldn’t mean you can’t achieve your dreams.”

Jack, 26 years old and from Clydebank, has battled through severe illness, including being on life support, to set up his own business combining his love of cars with his talent for art. 

Born premature, Jack was only days old when he suffered from a bleed in his brain and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and hydrocephalus, which required him to have shunts in his brain. As well as requiring numerous brain surgeries and operations, doctors believed he would never walk or talk.

Jack never allowed his disability to stop him from doing the things he loved and as a young boy he helped his dad work on cars and dreamt of opening his own garage. After starting a vehicle maintenance course in college, Jack was the target of bullying, which ultimately stopped him from learning the skills he wanted and needed to pursue a career in mechanics.

Jack said:

Growing up and going to college, I felt I could do everything that my peers did, but others felt my disability stood in the way. My experience at college was not a positive one and it really knocked my confidence and self-esteem. My uncle taught me how to weld and, as I had always enjoyed art and being creative, I began designing a table lamp using my a car spring and scrap materials. After becoming more comfortable with the equipment, I realised I could turn these new skills into a business.

Jack found out about The Prince’s Trust and took part in the Enterprise programme, which supports 18-30 year olds to launch their own business. The course gave him the knowledge, skills, and confidence to launch ‘Salvaged Metal Art’ which combines his love of cars with his newfound talents.

“Using car parts, I make sculptures and household items - including wine racks, floor lamps and gifts. As well as taking part in the Enterprise programme, The Trust introduced me to Arnold Clark, AutoParts and Black Circles who now supply me with materials for my designs. My aim is to build my business and hopefully create jobs."

Jack takes inspiration from Edinburgh-based blacksmith Kev Paxton, whose artwork regularly features on the BBC show ‘Money for Nothing.’ Jack met Kev through The Prince’s Trust in 2019.

“Kev Paxton is a great mentor to me. I speak to him regularly and he is taking me through to his workshop in Edinburgh to do a collaboration that was arranged when I first met him. The collaboration is going to be auctioned off at the Lunch with an Old Bag event later this year to raise money for The Prince’s Trust.”

Alongside his business, Jack continues to raise awareness of disabilities, and aims to increase representation of young people with all disabilities and health conditions wherever he can. “As a Prince’s Trust Young Ambassador, I really enjoy helping to make a difference to other people’s lives.”

Jack’s achievements have been recognised with two awards. In 2019, he triumphed at the Scottish Prince’s Trust Awards and in June 2022 he received the Pride of Scotland Young Achiever award at a glittering ceremony in Edinburgh.