Romford charity helping borough's youngsters learn vocational skills to close in January
PUBLISHED: 07:00 21 December 2017
A charitable firm that has been teaching Havering children vocational skills will be closing for good on January 2.
Motorvations, based in Maldon Road, Romford, has provided training in fields such as motor vehicle repairs, construction, health and fitness and beauty to raise teenagers’ self-belief for the past 20 years.
It supports less academic students in Years 9, 10 and 11 learn skills that will help them find employment, and has been operating since 1997, when it began offering vehicle training.
Former garage owner Chris Lee, 60, has been with the charity since its inception and was awarded an MBE in 2011 for his work with children.
“It’s been an amazingly difficult decision to come to but we decided that we would rather finish on our own terms than reach the point were we were no longer financially viable.
“We have had a downward trend in the number of referrals we have been getting from schools in the last three years and we can’t sustain those sort of losses for long.
“Once I made the board of governors aware of the situation we felt the best course of action was to make this term our last and close over Christmas.”
Over the years, Motorvations, has gone from strength to strength, and began working across a number of London boroughs and Essex.
But as of 2018, the charity will be closing its doors for good.
“It’s extremely sad,” admitted Chris.
“We’ve worked with more than 4,000 kids over the last 20 years and have celebrated lots of success stories.
“I like to think of us as one of the best kept secrets in Havering.”
And parents of children who attend Motorvations have also been expressing their regret at the news the long-running institution will be closing its doors next month.
One described her child as being “devastated” by the news.
Another told the Recorder: “It is a really big shame.
“It’s been running for so long and I know people who have gone there and got qualifications and totally changed their lives, and now all the kids there are going to be disrupted.
“It’s not right.”