Jay blades is the stylish star of the wonderful BBC hit show the repair shop the show where his team of talented craftsmen and women bring downtrodden family heirlooms back to life and then reunite them with their often emotional owners.

Part of the show secret is Jay's charm, style, wit and warmth. A man who always shows compassion and empathy to the many who have visited the repair shop bar.

But behind this calm figure is a story of an upbringing and life that was anything but serene.

Growing up in northeast London, Jay's early childhood was a largely happy and innocent one, yet when he went to senior school, all that changed.

He was regularly physically and verbally abused because of the color of his skin. He left school battered, emotionally scarred and with no qualifications.

By the age of 21, Jay was homeless.

It was only in his 30s that he began to turn his life around, heading to university and then making changes in his life that transformed him and the lives of hundreds of young people through his various community projects.

Now he's written a wonderful book called "Making It" about his life, and as he admits the most impressive restoration he's carried out has been on himself.

His is a challenging but wonderfully inspiring story.

If you have been through life events similar to those described in this episode and you need someone to talk to, please contact The Samaritans, on 116 123

And if you'd like to share your thoughts with Simon, he'd love to hear from you:



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