Chang­ing young lives

Co-op Mem­bers have helped raise an amaz­ing £19mil­lion for thou­sands of lo­cal causes across the UK* – OnTrak in Brad­ford is one of them

YOURS (UK) - - Yours Promotion -

You might not au­to­mat­i­cally think that learn­ing how to change a bi­cy­cle tyre would change a life. But that’s ex­actly what’s hap­pen­ing at the Brad­ford based com­mu­nity project OnTrak, one of the lo­cal causes that will ben­e­fit from a share of the money raised by Co-op Mem­bers.

Run by re­tired Adrian Woods MBE, it’s a project that teaches young peo­ple who are dis­ad­van­taged, or who’ve been ex­cluded from school, about me­chan­ics, giv­ing them a chance at a fu­ture when they feel like they’re go­ing nowhere. ‘The orig­i­nal idea was to send out 80 re­paired bi­cy­cles to help kids in need, but it’s grown to around 4,000 a year now,” Adrian laughs. ‘My re­tire­ment plans haven’t quite worked out…’

To­day Adrian works with around 60 dif­fer­ent or­gan­i­sa­tions to find the young­sters who can most ben­e­fit from his help in the garage he runs. “We teach up to 30 stu­dents a week in English, maths and me­chan­ics in a class­room above the garage. Some of the chil­dren that come haven’t been to school for over a year but they want to learn when they come to us. With us they can also get hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence of re­pair­ing dif­fer­ent bikes and ve­hi­cles. The aim is to lead by ex­am­ple and send them on to work or higher ed­u­ca­tion.”

Ev­ery year, Adrian re­lies on the gen­er­ous do­na­tions of thou­sands of bro­ken bikes, which are then re­paired by Adrian and the young­sters. Once fixed, they then go to or­gan­i­sa­tions like schools and chil­dren’s homes where they’ll help them learn road safety. “If it saves one child’s life, it’s worth it,” says Adrian. The char­ity also fixes cars new and old and car­ries out ser­vices and MOTs, with the help of the stu­dents.

As an en­tirely self-funded char­ity, ev­ery penny helps and re­cently Adrian was de­lighted that OnTrak were se­lected as one of the causes that Co-op Mem­bers could choose to sup­port. This means that Co-op Mem­bers are help­ing to change lives just by do­ing their weekly shop as 1%* of what they spend on se­lected Co-op branded prod­ucts and ser­vices, goes to a lo­cal cause they get to choose. “The do­na­tion from the Co-op is the first bit of money I’ve had and will re­ally help me run one of my projects.”

Teenagers come to OnTrak to learn life skills and get ex­pe­ri­ence of the world of work

Co-op Mem­bers like Char­lene are sup­port­ing lo­cal causes across the UK

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.