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University of Gloucestershire graduate joins star-studded BBC cast to support young people

A University of Gloucestershire graduate has been appointed as an ambassador for a national BBC scheme aimed at improving the wellbeing, confidence and storytelling skills of young people across the UK.

Jack Shute, who graduated with a degree in Journalism from the University’s School of Creative Industries and is now a BBC Radio Gloucestershire presenter, will visit secondary schools across Gloucestershire for the BBC100 Share Your Story scheme.

The national initiative brings together a diverse group of 100 BBC Storytellers, including former women’s footballer Alex Scott, Strictly Come Dancing champion Stacey Dooley and TV presenter Greg James, to share stories of their personal journeys, setbacks and successes.

Jack, who has appeared as a guest on the University of Gloucestershire Behind the Uni podcast, said: “I’m really excited about visiting secondary schools and meeting young people across Gloucestershire as an ambassador for such a unique scheme as BBC100 Share Your Story.

“The last couple of years have been tough for everyone as result of the pandemic, with young people’s mental health being hit particularly hard.

“I hope that through hearing my own turbulent story, it might help young people to overcome their own obstacles, identify what makes them happy and embrace positive opportunities and experiences.

“Growing up, before I went to the University, I received a lot of negative comments about my sexuality and this caused me to hide away for a while. For me, developing a drag act provided the confidence that I needed – everyone is different and it’s about finding what works for you.”

Jack added: “I didn’t receive much education about the LGBTQ+ community while I was at school. If I had, I believe my life would have changed for the better, both improving my journey into self-acceptance, as well as creating a better understanding from my peers.

“This is what I hope to achieve by telling my story, with my main message being: embrace and celebrate your identity and the things that make you different, because by doing that, you can achieve things you thought were impossible.”