Co-op Helping others

Co-op run a 'helping your community' scheme where you can help local causes for just 1%. They recently joined up with Ontrak and raised an impressive £513.76. Here is an extract from their website;

"The walls of OnTrak in Bradford are covered with photographs of smiling children on bicycles, and carefully handwritten letters. These heartfelt thank-yous have been sent to Adrian Woods MBE, operations manager of community initiative OnTrak. ‘The original idea was to send out 80 repaired bicycles to help kids in need, but it’s grown to around 4,000 a year now,’ Adrian laughs. ‘My retirement plans haven’t quite worked out…’ OnTrak is one of the fantastic local causes benefiting from Co-op Members’ 1% – and the difference it can make to causes like this one shows just how valuable being a Co-op Member can be.

Adrian’s self-funded charity receives thousands of donations of broken bikes every year, which he and his team repair. They’re then passed on to organisations, like schools and children’s homes, to help teach the kids road safety. ‘If it saves one child’s life, it’s worth it,’ Adrian says. To fund the bicycle project, OnTrak runs a garage, a go-karting track and a campsite. But it’s education that’s at the heart of Adrian’s plan to get kids back on track. ‘We teach up to 30 students a week English, maths and mechanics in a classroom above the garage,’ Adrian explains. ‘They’re referred to us because they’re disadvantaged, or struggle at school. Some of them haven’t been to school for over a year, but they want to learn when they come to us. With us, they can get hands-on experience of repairing different bikes and vehicles. The aim is to lead by example, and send them on to work or higher education.’ Adrian helps them find jobs or work experience. ‘We’ve got contacts at racetracks around Europe and at Brands Hatch and we arrange for students who really excel to gain work experience there. But if they want to get experience as a bricklayer or plumber we help with that too,’ he says.

The first payment OnTrak will receive from Co-op Members will help fund a trip to a classic car show. ‘I’m taking a group of students to talk about what we do and display some of the vintage cars we’ve restored,’ he explains. ‘Until now, we’ve been self-funded, so the money from Co-op is the first time we’ll have received help from outside, which means a lot to us. ‘I used to work for Co-op, and know that members are Co-op, full stop. It’s about an equal society, and looking after each other. It’s humbling to have been chosen."

 

Ontrak Community Intiative

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