After finding him self homeless at 18 and then again at the age of 23, Gary is no stranger to living hand to mouth. After living in a hostel on Brompton road, London for over 12 months he returned to Lancashire and a spell of sofa surfing. It was here he started volunteering at a local Youth Club before finding a council house and laying down roots. Over many years he worked his way up and developed a longstanding Youth and Community career, with many years’ experience working with hard to reach young people and disadvantaged client groups. For much of his career, he has worked in the public sector as a Senior Manager in Youth and Community service provision. However, he understands that the greatest rewards are achieved when working directly with service-users. His passion and flair for the urban arts also makes him the creative brains of the Uthink operation. A graffiti artist, photographer, body painter and light painter, he is well suited to heading up Uthink’s urban arts and creative projects on the ground whilst his extensive senior management knowledge and his own homeless experiences enables him to make strategic decisions and pave the way for Uthink’s Specialised Supported Housing projects......
Hi, I'm James. I've spent my whole career working in the community and engaging with the public. I began my career in Youth Football Coaching with P&S Premium Soccer Coaching developing essential leadership and communicational skills with 5-12 years old's before moving into Social Care in the community. Working with adults with additional needs and mental health conditions, I found this environment was often very challenging and demanding. And very quickly developed my patience and calmness in challenging situations. These skills then led me into community work in the rehabilitation of young men in the criminal justice system. This role often tested me too the limits. But was also incredibly rewarding at times to see the progress and development of some of these young men. Knowing I made an impact on their journey was a great reward.