Daniel's story

28 March 2023

 Daniel is the founder and CEO of Buckt - the UK’s only mystery ticket subscription service. From humble beginnings, Daniel has turned Buckt into a multi-million-pound enterprise operating across the country. But before this, he was a fresh-faced 19-year-old from a disadvantaged background with no clear direction in his life. And then he found UpRising.

Daniel joined UpRising’s Leadership programme in 2013: “I didn’t know what my future was going to hold, I didn’t really know what opportunities were out there, and then UpRising came along.” The experience has had a lasting experience on his life and career. Daniel’s life before the programme was marked by financial instability, and he describes himself as coming from “a pretty underprivileged background”. From these challenging beginnings, Daniel has been on a life-changing journey which is a testament to his hard work and perseverance.

I didn’t know what my future was going to hold, I didn’t really know what opportunities were out there, and then UpRising came along.

Despite his challenging circumstances, Daniel excelled in school: “I was always pretty academically bright. I was always quite actively involved in things.”  This resulted in him getting a place at the local Grammar school for sixth form. Within this new school environment, Daniel found himself struggling: “I didn’t do very well the first year, so I ended up basically having to take a year out, which allowed me to kind of resit my AS grades and A2s in my second year at college, and then allowed me to reapply for university.” Despite these challenges, Daniel persevered with his education. 

When he was 19, Daniel found UpRising and became a participant on the Birmingham Leadership Programme, where he was the youngest member of the cohort. At this time in his life, Daniel was struggling financially and supported himself with the help of Jobseeker’s Allowance. Even at a young age, he made the most of the opportunity and pushed himself to improve his prospects. He cited networking as a key skill that he gained from the UpRising programme, as prior to this he feels he had underestimated the importance of developing a wide and meaningful professional network: “They were talking about networking, and it just clicked for me…no-one had ever said to me, ‘This is what networking is’, I’d never been taught about networking [before].”

I genuinely think it’s had such a huge impact on my life and who I am. I don’t think I’d be who I am now without UpRising.

Through the programme, Daniel had the opportunity to grow his skills and confidence in a safe space with the support of the UpRising team, who supported him at this time. He describes the role his programme coordinator played as transformational: “she really put in the time and energy, she genuinely had a massive influence on my life, like categorically changed my life”. The support that the UpRising team provided allowed Daniel to broaden his opportunities and learn more about himself: “I genuinely think it’s had such a huge impact on my life and who I am. I don’t think I’d be who I am now without UpRising.”

After his time on the programme, Daniel continued to engage with UpRising as a member of the Alumni Network, through which he was able to access further opportunities, invitations and networking events. This opened doors for Daniel to further expand his knowledge and networks across different sectors, leading to him ultimately finding a passion within the Arts. In 2012 Daniel founded his own social enterprise Fourth Wall. The organisation runs training programmes using theatre and the arts with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Having graduated from the Leadership Programme, Daniel applied for and was offered a place at the University of Birmingham, where he went on to graduate with a First class degree. During this time, he continued running his organisation and also became a trustee on the board at UpRising. Daniel supported the organisation in this way as a valued board member for a number of years, during which he also was able to represent UpRising at an event at Buckingham Palace where Daniel was invited to meet, the then, Prince Charles.

In 2014, through his work in the community and with Fourth Wall, Daniel won a prestigious Point of Light award, which recognises the outstanding contributions notable young people make to the betterment of their communities. 

Since then, Daniel has gone on to found his own highly successful company, Buckt, a “ticket-subscription service [where]every month, subscribers get five mystery tickets to different attractions and activities in their area.”  Daniel’s multi-million-pound company operates across the country and continues to grow to this day. Beyond his financial success, Daniel continues to support his community and the social issues close to his heart.