The Skidz Motor Project facility in Banbury, Oxfordshire, which houses a fully equipped vehicle workshop and classroom, was officially opened by rally driver Paddy Hopkirk, who shot to fame when he won the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally in a Mini.
Staffed by skilled and experienced staff and volunteers, Skidz liaises with schools, youth clubs, community groups and the Youth Offending Service to provide training and career opportunities for youngsters aged from 13 upwards.
Training covers cars, motorcycles and courses include ‘basic checks’, foundation vehicle maintenance and general servicing and repairs, leading to a certificate of educational achievement.
Project director, Steve Godfrey, says: "Skidz serves the whole community as well as supporting disadvantaged young people at a critical stage in their lives, giving them a sense of achievement and self-esteem. After training, the vast majority will embark on a worthwhile, rewarding career and become responsible citizens rather than a burden on society."
As a charity, Skidz relies on grants and donations. Supporters currently include: Volvo Cars UK, Kawasaki, the Motorcycle Industry Association, European Social Fund, Learning and Skills Council, National Lottery, BBC Children in Need and a number of district councils.
Any organisations or individuals who would like to help can call Skidz on 01494 550008 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Detailed information can be found at: www.skidz.co.uk