Hunters Hill Charitable Trust were awarded a grant of £1,200 from the Deutsche Bank Small Grants fund to help them continue their Motor Vehicle Provision.

Tucked away in the outer city, Hunters Hill Charitable Trust is working hard to drive new opportunities.

The Trust supports Hunters Hill College which educates 11 to 16-year olds with complex mental health needs and family related problems.

Their Motor Vehicle course gives students the chance to try their hand in a working garage, setting them up for, not only the next step in their education, but life as well.

Andy Bencens, Motor Vehicle Teacher, said:

“In the main kids come to us in year 10, but we’ve just started doing an introductory class for year 9’s. If they like it, it might just give them an insight and help them make some decisions.

“They study with the Institute of the Motoring Industry which is probably the biggest organisation that oversees the motor vehicle trade.

“We’re giving these kids practical skills, we always say we don’t expect them all to become mechanics but if nothing else, we’d like you to be able to save some money in the future!”

But working in this school comes with its challenges:

“We do have a Psychologist on site to support us.

“You’ve got to give people that first chance, that first step on the ladder. What we offer here is the closest you could possibly get to a working environment.

“The biggest carrot for us is the workshop. The cars out there are ‘live’, they’re customers cars and we charge for repairing them. This gives them a purpose, they’ve done a job and they get a huge sense of responsibility.”

With his head under the hood, student Daniel, said:

“I love it. This is our best lesson to be honest and you learn some life skills! “It’s helped me get into college, I’ll be doing an automotive course, I probably wouldn’t have chosen that if I hadn’t been on this course.

“It’s great because I’ve already used what I’ve learnt on the course. One day I was at my mates and a car pulled up with a flat tyre. They didn’t know how to change it, so we put a spare on for them! You’d be amazed at how many people don’t know how to change a tyre.”