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Funding for charity to help youngsters avoid life of crime

PUBLISHED: 08:30 14 May 2015 | UPDATED: 11:46 20 May 2015

Open Road. Picture: Ian Burt

Open Road. Picture: Ian Burt

A pioneering charity in west Norfolk has won £30,000 funding to help 10 youngsters at risk of offending stay on the straight and narrow and train to become mechanics.

Open Road West Norfolk has been awarded the money by the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner’s (PCC) Children & Young People Fund, which aims to help prevent vulnerable youngsters become offenders or victims of crime.

Terry Smith, trustee of Open Road, said the focus was on providing early intervention to young people identified as being at risk of falling into a life of crime, either as an offender or victim.

Mr Smith, who has been involved with Open Road since its launch more than five years ago, added: “If we are going to really start improving the lives of young people then we need to interact with vulnerable youngsters a lot earlier.

“When they take a course with us, their self-esteem builds and they start to have a purpose. Motor vehicles are seen as cool to be involved with but, more importantly, they will have a better chance of getting an apprenticeship after completing the course.

“We hope to help young people become reliable, dependable, honest and trustworthy – a team player and a sensible part of society long-term.”

Open Road will work with 10 young people between the ages of 16 and 18 over the next year, training towards a level one award qualification in motor vehicle maintenance from the Institute of the Motor Industry.

Norfolk PCC Stephen Bett, who will visit the charity in Rollesby Road, King’s Lynn, on Thursday, May 21, said: “As well as building confidence and self-esteem, Open Road is helping these young people establish a solid foundation of work and life skills, which will benefit them as they enter adult life.”

Have you found a job after help from Open Road West Norfolk? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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