UTHINK started life in 2010 as a community interest company before evolving into a charitable organisation (Uthink People Developing People). Its founders, Gary Pate and Paul O’Rourke, are considerably experienced and fully qualified Youth and Community Workers, who have for many years worked at the coalface with young people in demanding urban and rural environments, on behalf of various local authorities.
Given Gary and Paul’s youth work experience, it is of no surprise that UTHINK was originally established with a primary focus on young people. However, while the golden thread of youth work continues to run through much of what the charity does, UTHINK has since expanded into providing services for adults as well. That reflects Gary’s proven track record of leading services and programmes catering for both disadvantaged adults and young people.
In addition to its two founders, UTHINK is guided by the practical wisdom of Jay Malone, who acts as the charity’s Governance Officer. His role is to ensure that UTHINK not only complies with but also enters into the spirit of, the rules, regulations and policies that exist to provide the right governance of the charity and the protection of the vulnerable people they work with.
UTHINK’s daily operation is also administered by a team of very experienced staff members, who make it possible for Gary and Paul to focus on the charity’s service provision.
A significant aspect of UTHINK’s mission is to empower their service-users to become future UTHINK leaders and mentors, who are willing to invest their newly acquired skills into the development and education of others who also need to experience enfranchisement and empowerment. In other words, UTHINK enables the individuals they work with to become catalysts for change in their social environments and communities. This creates a transformative cycle that sustains the positive impact of UTHINK’s work, by enabling their service-users to take ownership of their personal development and to become sources of inspiration and influence in their own peer groups.