When Aaron Ward visited Open Road six years ago he was interested in cars and motor maintenance but had no formal qualifications.
The centre manager was impressed with the work he had done on his own project car and decided to give him a chance as a volunteer. Since then, Aaron has never looked back.
He explained: “I was taken on as a volunteer and I was helping youngsters in the workshop and in the classroom.
“I was in a position to pass on my own knowledge, passion and experience to the young trainees.
“Not only was I helping others, but at the same time I was enhancing my own skill set. I knew the practical side of mechanics but at Open Road I was learning about the theory behind motor vehicle maintenance and gaining my own recognised qualifications.”
A few months down the line, Trustees appointed Aaron as an instructor. He ended up working at Open Road for almost five years.
He said: “Things I learned at Open Road helped me get a new job and I will be eternally grateful for the opportunity I was given. Open Road is a fantastic training provider.
“Some youngsters may be put off by the thought of paperwork in school-like lessons, but there’s no need to worry. Classroom work is kept to a minimum and, even then, the work is fun and relaxing, without compromising the work output.”
Aaron added: “If anyone is looking to get into volunteering, give Open Road West Norfolk a thought – you will gain skills, knowledge and qualifications while you volunteer. This all improves your employability.
“But the real thrill of volunteering at Open Road is the gratitude of the youngsters whose lives you are helping change.
“It’s a great feeling when you get a thank you at the end of the year from a youngster who has achieved something that they thought was not possible. I fully recommend Open Road West Norfolk to potential volunteers.”