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.
“We are so pleased to be shortlisted! Receiving this grant will enable us to deliver our ambitious project that we are continually hearing is desperately needed in our communities. As we operate in one of the most disadvantaged areas of the UK, our project gives hope to young people and tackles anti-social behaviour, preventing them from falling into a life of crime and providing a guiding light towards employment, training and better opportunities.”
“It was a pleasure to meet the team behind Outkast Panda Crew at their garage in Hull city centre. What was so clear to see, was the passion all their volunteers have for making a difference to the lives of young people who have become increasingly isolated since the pandemic. Combining an interest in cars with the opportunity to learn practical skills in mechanics, electronics and engineering provides a foundation into future careers, yet also creates friendships and community – not just for the young people it supports, but their volunteers as well.”
Latest Project Updates
Dave Senior Volunteers at TEPS
Having discovered Outkast Panda during a Grants for Good voting round in 2022, Dave Senior – a Transport Manager from warehousing and haulage business, TEPS – has now begun using his skills in mechanics to volunteer for the organisation, whilst supporting them further with a champion grant.
After becoming one of the top five finalists in the latest Grants for Good Round, £2,000 was granted.