By Jess Paton | on May 22, 2018
Ten teenagers from Tuakau will enter this week with a new set of life skills thanks to Silver Fern Motorsport Charitable Trust.
Programme Manager Ted Jarvis ran the free five-day course called ‘Getting Started,’ for 16 to 18-year olds, from 14 to 18 May at Madill House in Tuakau. This has equipped the teenagers with a First Aid certificate, their licence, the opportunity to get a job and have a future. “It’s all about learning things they need for life,” said Ted. “They can leave this course and straightaway start work.”
Teenagers are referred to the Trust for the courses and one said, “the reason I’m here is for employment and a future.” Another said, “it’s a great opportunity, especially for free!” When asked what they wanted to do after this course, the teenagers’ unanimous answer was ‘get a job.’ Ted said, “this course is showing that teenagers are interested in getting out there and doing things.” No pens were involved at all as it’s all online and resources are brought in, and the teenagers liked that type of training.
The Trust has no government funding and offers all three of their programmes for free. “We don’t want any barriers at all,” said Ted. “We want it so young people can just come along. For this course we have the support of Tuakau College, Tuakau Rotary, Kiwibank Pukekohe and Matts Photoworld,” said Ted. “Local businesses are being very helpful. They’ve really got behind it which is great! It’s the community helping the community.”
The Silver Fern Motorsport Charitable Trust was originally a V8 race team. Ted said, “Our team was in Hamilton racing one day and a group of kids came along, and no-one would let them near their cars. So, we let them have a look at our car and had a chat to them. After that we got talking about it. We wanted to figure out how we could use our passion for cars to work with youth.”
It took two years to create the Trust and it’s been running for eight years now. “This particular project has been a year in the making. Tuakau Rotary has been pushing for it and now it’s finally happened,” said Ted.
“We have a 100 per cent success rate and it gives me a buzz,” he said. “It’s the best job I’ve had. I love seeing people achieve and that’s what drives me.” Courses are held all over Auckland and North Waikato and Ted intends to do courses again in different areas around here.
Fifty-three per cent of court referred kids that participate in the Trust’s programmes seldom re-offend after attending the courses. Ted said “We are actually helping the country. We’re reducing the prison population, because after three offences it’s mandatory jail for the kids. This is the simple way to stop them going down that path.”
Heather Blanchard, President of Tuakau Rotary said, “We’re pleased to be involved. Rotary is all about giving back to the community and hopefully it gives all the kids a good start in life. With the aim that they get jobs and have a future.” When receiving their certificates Ted said “The kid’s smiles mean something. For some of them, it’s the only qualification they get!” For more information on the courses visit: www.silverfernmotorsport.com.