|Andy Kent in front of his garage|
Big lights act as indicators
for staff and apprentices
In order to update these tools himself, Andy went to his bank to ask for a £50,000 loan so he could change the equipment in the garage. The bank said to him “why get a loan for the money when you could win it?”... one thing led to another and Andy is now one of the three finalists for the East of England for Barclay’s Take One Small Step Competition 2011 and if he gets the money, he will be able to make all the modifications the garage needs in order to address all of his staff and apprentices’ needs.
But Andy’s Kars is no stranger to prizes and awards! Ever since 2005, they have won an impressive number of awards and what’s even more impressive is that they didn’t even apply for any of them, all came because other people recognised Andy’s work as valuable and an example of innovation and success. In 2010 he was again nominated and won the Trading Places Community Business Award with Barclays, he was a finalist in the same year for the Disabled Entrepreneur of the Year with Stelios and in 2006 they even won the competition “Garage of the Year” with CMC.
- 2005 Small Organisation EDGE awards Winner
- 2006 Garage of the year CMC Winner
- 2007 Celebrating Success JobCentrePlus Winner
- 2007 Leading the Way Remploy Winner
- 2008 Best Achiever Andrew Youle CRC
- 2009 Best Achiever Martin Bonham CRC
- 2010 Disabled Entrepreneur of the Year Stelios Finalist
- 2010 Trading Places community business Barclays Winner
|Andy specialises in adapting &|
repairing cars for disabled drivers
All of the above were developed because of the individual needs of staff and/or apprentices that worked with Andy’s Ark.
|Andy offers apprenticeships to many|
disadvantaged and disabled people
Andy recently received a phone call from the carer of a young man who has been in an accident which broke his back, making him paralysed. This young man dreamt of becoming a motor mechanic, repairing cars; however since his accident he stopped believing he could ever achieve his dream. He completely gave up hope and hadn’t been out of bed for 6 weeks. It’s quite understandable, without our dreams, we are all lost in depression and hopelessness...
Andy invited him over to the garage to see what it is like and see if he’d like to become an apprentice. The simple fact that the young man had something to aim for (a meeting at a garage with the possibility of an apprenticeship to learn how to repair cars) made him sit up in bed for the first time in weeks, made him sit on the side of the bed and finally got him out of bed to Andy’s garage for the meeting. This meeting gave Andy the opportunity to assess what needs the young man would be in order to repair cars in his shop and he has already devised a few designs for tools and adjustments that would allow the young man, despite his challenge (being paralysed) to repair cars. Now (after being at the garage) the young man even wakes up at 8 a.m. every morning and goes to much needed physiotherapy sessions – all because of meeting up with Andy and because he showed him it is possible to achieve his dream.
|Andy together with apprentices|
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