Jack has gone from strength to strength
When he was just 14, out of the blue, Jack Brown suffered a brain haemorrhage while swimming with friends. The next 12 months were spent undergoing treatment and rehabilitation in Southampton.
‘It was like I was reborn,’ he said. ‘I had to learn everything again, how to talk and how to eat. At one point I was told I might not walk again. It’s why it’s taken about seven years to get to where I am today.’
Jack still experiences migraines and needs regular breaks in a working day to avoid fatigue. One of the biggest challenges he faces, however, is the perception of strangers. They often assume wrongly that he is drunk as his speech can be slow or slurred and he can find it difficult to balance using his walking stick. ‘This assumption happens every day,’ he says.
Jack first started working at Saltgate in September 2018. Soon after he started, Saltgate set up a close relationship with the Jersey Employment Trust to make sure they gave him the best possible support in the workplace.
Having tried a number of different roles, Jack has been working as a payments clerk since May 2021. He is making huge progress in this department, has extended his working week to 25 hours, and he hopes to pass further accountancy qualifications.
Saltgate people partner Hannah Gauvin said: ‘Jack has continued to develop and succeed during his time with us at Saltgate – we are tremendously proud of him.
‘Jack has demonstrated that the health challenges he has faced are not barriers to him. Instead he’s used his strength and resilience to overcome any obstacle. He is an inspiration to us all.
‘Promoting and supporting diversity and inclusion in the workplace is incredibly important,’ she added. ‘We have a diversity and inclusion network to ensure everyone feels able to participate and achieve their full potential at work, no matter their background, identity or circumstances.’
‘A lot of employers would have written me off,’ he said. ‘Saltgate have supported me to be my own person and to get good results. I want to be treated the same as everyone else and get the same opportunities. I love my job.
‘JET have helped me on my journey since completing education and have shown me that I’m not alone and it can be done. It just takes a different way.’
JET Employment Coordinator, Emma Burns, said: ‘When I first met Jack it was clear he was a very determined young man who refused to let his disability get in the way of living his life. I am immensely proud to have seen him go from strength to strength in the face of adversity. Jack's success is not only down to his own determination, but also Saltgate's supportive approach. Their reasonable adjustments have given him the confidence to thrive.’