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Awards Night Celebrates SKIDZ Students' Course Successes
PUBLISHED: 29/01/2014 | UPDATED:25/02/2014 11:06:29
Nearly 100 students from the SKIDZ Motor Project charity have received certificates after successfully completing vehicle maintenance courses.

Nearly 100 students from the SKIDZ Motor Project charity have received certificates after successfully completing vehicle maintenance courses.

Dozens of recipients attended a special awards night at the Arts4Every1 Centre in High Wycombe on Tuesday, January 28, to be presented with their certificates by VIPs including the High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire Sir Stuart Hampson, Wycombe Mayor Cllr Trevor Snaith, Wycombe Council Chairman Cllr Ian McEnnis and entertainer Johnny Ball, a Patron of SKIDZ.

About SKIDZ

Since its launch 15 years ago SKIDZ has helped more than 8,000 young people in the Buckinghamshire region through its specialist training courses which were originally set up to provide disaffected and disadvantaged young people with the opportunity to gain vocational skills in motor mechanics.

Now SKIDZ has extended its operation by linking up with local schools and Amersham and Wycombe College to offer all students an opportunity to access motor mechanics courses where they can obtain the equivalent of GCSE passes.  The courses also offer youngsters a chance for work experience and potential apprenticeship opportunities.

SKIDZ CEO Graham Andrews told guests that the charity has maintained its success despite not receiving any support from central government, and through reliance on private donations and its own fund-raising efforts.  He revealed that SKIDZ has now launched a commercial operation to produce car registration number plates in a bid to help further finance the charity.

Mr Andrews says the commercial operation will also offer the opportunity for students to gain valuable work experience in the new business.  In addition the charity is extending the range of courses available to students which will offer even greater opportunities for youngsters to learn the skills required to carve out careers in the motor industry.

Mr Andrews also revealed that SKIDZ is now aiming to expand the charity to a nationwide operation over the next few years and is already in exploratory talks with the Integrated Education Fund in Belfast about the feasibility of launching a SKIDZ project in the city.

"There are some very exciting plans in the pipeline and we are therefore introducing commercial initiatives to help fund our work.  However, we still need the support and benevolence of individuals and businesses who can help us in so many different ways including providing cars for our students to work on, tools, equipment and finance. One of our key priorities is to find new premises locally to accommodate more workshops and classrooms.

"I am very hopeful that over the next few years this marvellous charity, which started here in High Wycombe, will become a name that is familiar around the UK and Ireland."

SKIDZ Patron

Johnny Ball told guests he was honoured to be a Patron of a charity which offered youngsters support to access jobs in the British Motor Industry where he said Britain still leads the world in car production.

Another SKIDZ Patron, businessman Mike Clare who founded Dream Beds, thanked the students for their efforts and also praised the charity for its work with young people.

Seven students passed the Primary Skills course through which students gain Basic Car Maintenance and Health and Safety certificates, while 71 youngsters passed their ABC Level 1 course to gain hands-on experience that will serve them well should they pursue motor mechanics in further education.

Nineteen students are studying the new IMI Level 1 Diploma course. Work with Post-16 students is a relatively new project for SKIDZ, which previously focused on younger students, and is available to anyone interested in studying towards a career in the motor industry.

SKIDZ initially launched in 1998 in response to high levels of car crime in and around the High Wycombe area. It took young people at risk of going off the rails and tried to engage them in a more positive environment by offering them the chance to learn car maintenance skills.

Since then the charity has grown to offer more courses to more young people, with a greater emphasis on re-engaging students with further education, training and employment opportunities. Its success speaks for itself with SKIDZ students scoring a 96.5% pass rate.

More Information

Find out more about SKIDZ courses and how to get involved.

Media Contact: Paul Smith Associatese-mail: