Jack Uddin is a Youth Worker at Gloucester Mentoring and Support (GMAS).
When Pluss first met Jack, he was having difficulty finding paid employment and was a volunteer at GMAS. Pluss approached the Manager at GMAS with the idea of a Pluss Traineeship®. Jack started the traineeship in February 2015 for a period of four months and has since become an employee.
Pluss delivers Work Choice, the Department for Work and Pensions specialist disability employment programme. Work Choice receives funding from the European Social Fund for customers referred to the programme prior to 25th April 2017.
"I am a Youth Worker for an organisation called Gloucester Mentoring and Support. I also do 1:1 mentoring.
"I was born with a condition called Spina Bifida. On top of that, I have Hydrocephalus which required a shunt on the side of the head when I was born. I have been a wheelchair user since birth and I also went deaf when I was 30. I am also an amputee which happened about 10 years ago.
"The thing I enjoy about my job is the diversity. No two days are ever the same; no two young people are ever the same. I enjoy the challenge. I feel privileged to do this job and being disabled is an insignificant part of that privilege. In the county of Gloucestershire, I am on the only wheelchair-using youth worker which I actually feel quite proud of.
"I am not naturally comfortable with being unemployed. The hardest thing for me was fighting off depression. Now, I can take pride in what I do and I am very proud of the people I work with."
Dan Tipp, Deputy Manager, Gloucester Mentoring and Support
"Jack’s relationships with the young people here are good. He has a very calm approach, is thoughtful and offers advice. He listens and gives people the space to get whatever is in their head out.
"We have had regular meetings with Pluss and there has been a general good conduit of information going back and forth. They have been there to check everything is alright."