Lady Agnew, the High Sheriff of Norfolk was among more than 40 guests who gathered at Open Road to mark a decade of changing young people’s lives for the better.

Open Road provides mechanical, construction and joinery tuition to young people who have been, or are in danger of being permanently excluded from school. The training leads to recognised qualifications which can then set the youngsters on a career path to be proud of.

Ruth Harrison, vice principal at the College of West Anglia, was also among the guests who toured the charity’s premises in Rollesby Road, Kings Lynn, along with other teachers, past students, volunteers and trustees. 

Enthusing about her visit, Ruth said: “It was a pleasure to be invited to see for ourselves the super facilities at Open Road. Their passion and drive to provide for local young people is infectious.

“Working in this way with teenagers is a privilege and one the team at Open Road clearly embrace”.

Since Open Road launched in September 2009, almost 500 teenagers have been trained, inspired and uplifted by the charity.

Open Road now has the capacity to train 160 students. It offers a safe and welcoming environment in which youngsters can remain engaged in education and training when regular school hadn’t appeared to be working for them. 

As well as mechanics, joinery and construction skills, students learn valuable life lessons such as honesty, reliability, respect, trust, dependability, punctuality and the willingness to work in a team.

Open Road offers a safe, supervised place of learning, while at the same time providing a fun and exciting environment in which young people can use their hands and their minds and begin to rebuild their self esteem.