Outkast Panda Crew
Outkast Panda Crew are a team of volunteers improving the lives of young adults in the Hull area who are at risk of becoming involved in anti-social behaviour and crime by offering them a route to positive engagement and success in their community, through a subject that is interesting and accessible to them – cars. As well as finding a positive focus for their time, members gain a range of employability skills with tangible routes into further training and employment, whilst building the soft skills and community links that can help them to improve their self-esteem.
Outkast Panda Crew is a Community Interest Company that provides young adults and those who derive from social poverty and disadvantaged areas an opportunity to learn vehicle maintenance and road safety that will guide them onto a path to gain qualifications and employment.
When they speak to young adults in Hull about why they engage in crime, they often hear that they are bored and have nothing to do. Hull has some of the highest unemployment and crime figures in the UK with an unemployment claimant rate of 9.8% and 115 crimes per 1,000 people recorded in 2020. Since 2010, funding for youth services has also been cut dramatically.
Outkast Panda Crew believe that a preventative strategy is key to combating crime, tackling the cause at the root. Their services provide hope to young people, a gateway to employment and better opportunities to ensure they can reach their full potential and avoid a life of crime.
Young adults who take part in their Vehicle Maintenance & Road Safety Training benefit from a mix of classroom-based theory lessons and workshop based practical sessions designed to help them understand how each component on a vehicle works and how to repair or replace parts, guided by an experienced team. Sessions cover everything from performing a routine service, brakes, suspension, exhaust, welding & fabrication and of course, making some of the most popular modifications.
There are also regular briefings on Road Safety to ensure that the rules of the road are always respected. There are also opportunities to learn driving theory in preparation for tests, CV writing, IT Skills and Health & Safety as well as a short course on how to buy & sell cars effectively. Also, a number of major projects including a show car and a rally car offer members the opportunity to prepare for and take part in live motorsport events.
Since their establishment they have helped a number of their members develop new social skills by providing a nurturing environment where everyone can be themselves with a hub where there are further opportunities to take part in social activities such as go karting, bowling and more.
The organisation also has links with local and national training programmes and local vehicle maintenance employers. This helps to provide members with employment, and employers with the employees with the practical skills they are looking for.
Their passionate team of volunteers derive a great sense of satisfaction from using their skills to benefit others, and have already put a lot of effort into attracting funding and building vital relationships in the local community with organisations like Humberside Police. Funds from the Matthew Good Foundation would support the ongoing costs of buying components for members to use in their training whilst also expanding their offering to support more in-depth courses such as welding and fabrication.