2022 Winner

Jack Smyth


Born premature, Jack 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.

Jack, now 26, was only days old when he suffered the first of three bleeds in his brain and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, with doctors believing he would never walk or talk.

He also has epilepsy and hydrocephalus, which required him to have shunts in his brain, as well as needing numerous brain surgeries up to the age of 14. 

In 2009, Jack had major surgery on his right leg to straighten his thigh bone and the surgeons had to break it, rotate it 90 degrees and insert a plate with screws to hold it together for 15 months to allow it to heal.

In 2011, he had his right arm operated on to rotate the muscle to hold his wrist muscle in place.

Defying the odds, 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 soon had a dream to open his own garage.

But his time at school was ruined by bullies and even after starting college to study vehicle maintenance the bullying continued and he felt there were too many unnecessary barriers, which ultimately stopped him from learning the skills he wanted and needed to pursue a career in mechanics.

With his self-esteem low, Jack’s uncle began to teach him how to weld and after working on scrap metal and becoming more comfortable using the equipment, Jack realised he could turn his new skills into a business.

Through Street League in West Dunbartonshire, Jack found out about The Prince’s Trust and took part in the Enterprise programme which gave him the knowledge, skills, and confidence to launch Salvaged Metal Art which combines his love of cars with his newfound talents.

In 2019, Jack won the Prince’s Trust Young Achiever award and was surprised with the news of his win by Edinburgh-based blacksmith Kev Paxton, whose striking artworks regularly feature on the BBC TV show Money for Nothing.