Young people from Lambeth have been offered construction training as part of a project to regenerate a go-karting track.
The London Youth scheme, Build-it is running a six-week project to bring the facilities at the Priory Road track up to date whilst also providing industry standard training to young people who wouldn’t otherwise have access to it.
The project is being run in conjunction with Mears, a national social housing maintenance company, Travis Perkins, Network Waste and Brewsters.
Head of Build-it, James Alexander told the Blog: “We’re really excited to be starting at the Right Track project as it gives us another opportunity to work with young people from the local community.”
In addition to youth-led karting sessions, the Right Track project provides a range of services including mentoring, accredited courses in go-kart maintenance and volunteer training.
It also offers workshops on life skills, drug education and sexual health.
According to James many of the young people who are part of the regeneration project were initially referred to Build-it by youth workers at the track.
James said: “The go-kart track does amazing work with young people. And it all has a knock on effect as the young people (who are part of the Build-it project) are giving back to people that supported them.”
The revamp will provide brand new facilities including a new layout for the track, a new kitchen, fully accessible bathrooms for people with disabilities and specially designed 1-2-1 mentoring rooms.
It will also clear a growing mound of unwanted tyres.
Track manager, Jean-Pierre Moore said: “There hasn’t been any investment since the 80s. It was really quite cramped and dingy.
“The refurb means that it will reflect the people that use it. We want it to look the way that it feels.”
Speaking about the new mentoring rooms, Jean Pierre told the Blog: “We offer mentoring sessions to young people who are at risk and sometimes they have to go to other buildings to have their meetings, some of the rooms don’t have windows.
“The contractors are going to tailor the spaces so that they are user friendly to facilitate those sessions.”
Jean Pierre added: “We’re really grateful to Mears and London Youth. We’re over the moon.”
David Jervis, Mears Asset Manager Lambeth said: “We are delighted to be able to offer our help to Build-it in their renovation of the Oasis Right Track Project go-kart track and community space.
“We were particularly interested in supporting Oasis as they provide a safe place for young people to mix and engage with each other.”
Both Build-it and the Right Track projects work with young people at risk of social exclusion.
According to James, Build-it have a success rate of 36% of the young people who come through their doors subsequently entering paid employment apprenticeships or education.
Among Built-it’s success stories is a young man who came to them after being in prison.
Through the project he has used the plastering skills he gained whilst in prison to help others, passing them on to other young people. He is now a paid employee at Build-it.
To find out more about Build-it or London Youth visit their websites.
A pass for the track costs £30 for the year. Alternatively young people who volunteer at the track are able to use the track for free. For more information visit the track website
That’s a great idea. I would have loved to have got involved in that when I started out!
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