8 July 2009, Islington, Town Hall – The Mayor of Islington, Councillor Anna Berent, today presented Certificates of Achievement to 19 Islington young people who had recently the completed the LOCN Accredited Motorcycle Mechanics Workshop Course provided by SPARKPLUG, one of the Borough’s longest running and respected local youth support providers.
Proud parents and friends watched as each came up to receive their Awards at the annual ceremony for a programme that has now been running for the past three years and has seen 64 young individuals “graduate.”
For the students, the Course itself is serious business. It meets one day each week for twenty weeks from 10 AM until 3:15 PM. As an incentive students who have maintained satisfactory attendance and punctuality levels qualify for a special scrambling “away-day,” however if students are persistently late or miss regular course days, they will not be eligible to participate.
The Course work includes discussions, handouts, white board and DVD presentations, and hands-on experience in the workshop. The areas covered include: general health and safety and basic workshop skills; exposure to the basics of engine, clutch and gearbox operation and maintenance; ignition, carburettor, air filtration and exhaust systems – where students follow the journey of air through the motorbike and why it is as important as petrol to the engine, and finally rolling chassis and brakes, which exposes students to the various types of braking systems and tyres and how to maintain them.
All in all this is a good general primer that can hopefully trigger their interest in going further in the field of mechanics. But equally important is the commitment to class attendance, working with and listening to instructors and the rewards that come from “achievement.”
Local Councillor Paul Convery who support the work of all the work of our local charities and lives in the street next to SPARKPLUG commented, SPARKPLUG is an outstanding project. Put simply, it takes lads from our neighbourhood who could otherwise stray into trouble and puts them firmly back on the straight and narrow. It's made a huge difference to the area. And it gives those boys an excellent leg-up to getting into a proper, steady job and settling down.
SPARKPLUG is one of Islington’s best known local youth projects. Its objective is to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour while increasing self-esteem and employability among its members. The initial strategy is to use motorcycles and mechanics to engage young people; however its longer term approach will be to broaden its range of activities to include exposure to all aspects of the motor industry.
For more information about SPARKPLUG, please go to their website: www.thesparkplug.org
SPARKPLUG is always looking for volunteers, so if you want to get involved contact contact its Founder and Manager, Martin Willis at (0207) 619-9229 or email@example.com.