Ten-year-old Jack Gower is on a mission to fulfil his new-found interest: dismantling large electrical goods. And he’s been busily packing a trailer full of unwanted white goods, bikes, even motorbikes.
Most days Jack’s mum Gemma picks him up from school in rural northern Tasmania for a two-hour road trip to meet other Tasmanians to collect their old equipment.
While his new start-up, Jack’s Scrap’n, is garnering attention and addressing a community need, it’s also helping Jack, who lives with ADHD, by teaching him valuable skills and using up excess energy.
“I wanted to help the people that couldn’t lift stuff or couldn’t get rid of their rubbish,” says Jack. “We take it to recycling centres and with the money I do ‘spend’, ‘save’ and ‘give’.”
For Jack “spend” means using the money he makes to buy tools and equipment for his business, while “save” means putting it away to invest in his future. “And then with give, I can help sick people with charity,” he adds.
He has received a stream of requests from Tasmanians since he posted his homemade poster to social media.
Gemma says Jack’s advertisement had “blown up”.
“I thought it was a little bit exciting and it’ll keep him busy and give him something to do,” she notes. “Now I realise, he’s going to be a very busy boy.”
“He thinks he’s just going to be pulling stuff apart. But really, it’s so much more. Like he gets to learn problem solving, maths skills, and so much communication. He’s quite a shy boy, and when he picks stuff up, he goes and knocks on the door and says: ‘Hello, I’m Jack and I'm here to get your stuff,’ and it teaches him how to speak to people.”
Jack and Gemma say they plan to take the enterprise online with a new YouTube channel connecting with other young people with ADHD. Jack says it was all about “showing them what they can use their extra energy for”.
Gemma says Jack has even skipped screen time to tend to the piles of goods filling up the backyard. “He even said to me yesterday, ‘Can I give up my tablet time so I can go back out the shed for a bit longer’.”
People with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) can struggle to pay attention, to organise, to finish tasks or follow instructions. Some people can experience both hyperactivity and a lack of attention. Jack is both hyperactive and impulsive.
TOP Jack Gower in his element, pulling stuff apart
ABOVE Jack Gower in his backyard ‘shop’
PHOTOS Gemma Gower