Jay Blades, originally from Hackney, is dyslexic and left school at 15 without any qualifications.
He eventually managed to get back on track studying for a degree in criminology and philosophy at Buckingham University before finding his true vocation in restoration.
He is now a modern furniture restorer, upcycler and eco-designer who is passionate about sustainability and the environment. He sources vintage and beautifully crafted pieces of furniture and re-imagines them into works of contemporary design.
Over the years Jay has also become an unlikely hero to lead the movement to save dying crafts in the UK, and is pioneering in the work he does to empower the lives and careers of so many talented and aspiring makers working across the UK.
Jay moved to Wolverhampton five years ago, and now divides his time between being a presenter on the BBC with having his own successful business in modern furniture restoration Jay & Co.
Jay is an inspirational motivator and was the former co-founder of award-winning social enterprises Out of The Dark and Street Dreams. Working with disengaged and disadvantaged young people, Jay was able to mentor and support thousands of individuals over the years to realise their full potential.
Having taken part in the first ever Molineux Sleepout in November, 2019, he was appointed as a Foundation ambassador in July, 2020.
Blades: “I’m so proud to have been asked to become an official ambassador for the Wolves Foundation. Wolverhampton is a place very close to my heart, and the city’s motto ‘Out of darkness cometh light’ resonates with me on so many levels.”