Garage staffed by ex-offenders planned for Barrow

Mechanic Tom Henderson says the garage is for people who deserve a second chance

A fundraising campaign has been started to establish a not-for-profit community garage helping ex-offenders and ex-addicts to train as mechanics.

The Barrow Community Garage is the brainchild of Tom Henderson, a mechanic with 22 years’ experience, who has set up a GoFundMe page for the community interest company (CIC). Tom told Garage Wire: “We are looking for support and grants from the local community, but we need to get up and running before we can apply for that.”

He is hoping to raise £10,000, which will be used to purchase lifts and a tyre machine. “Some funding is secured,” he told us, ”but that extra £10,000 will help us get everything we need to provide a good honest garage with keen employees.”

The trainee mechanics will include ex-offenders and ex-addicts, including Gary, who Tom met at college while refreshing his skills after taking a year out.

He said: ”Gary has gone through a recovery scheme and it was inspiring to see how mechanical work has focused him on staying clean.

“I thought it would be brilliant to offer people the chance to turn their lives around and start a garage with some keen people wanting to learn the trade.

”Gary will be one of the first apprentice workers we will be taking on, followed by another two, supervised by myself and another qualified mechanic.”

Barrow Community Garage will provide traditional servicing and repairs, MOT testing, tyres, exhausts, batteries and diagnostics. The company will also dismantle cars to provide recycled parts.

As a CIC, the company will exist to benefit the community rather than private shareholders. The company’s assets will only be used for its social objectives, with limits on the amount of money it can pay to shareholders.

Click here to learn more about Barrow Community College.

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