Brighter future for troubled teens

TROUBLED teens are on the road to a brighter future thanks to a unique initiative in Ipswich - but more youngsters are needed to ensure the scheme's future.

TROUBLED teens are on the road to a brighter future thanks to a unique initiative in Ipswich - but more youngsters are needed to ensure the scheme's future.

Charity Nacro is offering those aged between 16 and 18 the chance to build their own motorbikes, race them on an off-road track and at the same time work towards a recognised qualification.

The free 12-week programme is coordinated by semi-professional stunt rider Nik Soar, who has been filmed taking part in his dare-devil exploits for the BBC and The Discovery Channel.

The cash to provide the course has come from the European Social Fund and the Learning and Skills Council.


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Mr Soar said the aim of the initiative was to help youngsters not in education, employment or training.

But with only a few teens taking advantage so far, there is a desperate need for referrals to ensure the project continues.

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He said: “We have lots of funding and an excellent course but it's difficult to get referrals.

“We have given presentations at the YMCA, Connexions, The Foyer and Youth Offending. Young people can also refer themselves.

“Each session is three hours long and we try to make it fun. Some of those coming to us have dyslexia or ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), so there is the least amount of writing possible.

“They are not having someone dictate to them or just read from a text - it's a very practical course.”

The course is based at Nacro's base at 247 Felixstowe Road.

Students leave with a City and Guilds qualification and as well as the hands-on approach to mechanics and the chance to ride the bikes, the young people can also take up an opportunity of work experience at one of two garages in Ipswich.

If the course is deemed a success in Ipswich, it may also be set up in Bury St Edmunds and Lowestoft.

What do you think of the course? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Weblink: www.nacro.org.uk

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