THE MAYOR of the West Midlands Andy Street visited Fridays, Coventry, to see how an electric go kart project was going.
The project was launched in July 2019 by Tyler Campbell when he was 18 years old after young people in the area were asked about what activities they would like to see.
It was at a time when many Coventry teenagers were hurt and murdered over a six-month period.
It was aimed at helping city youngsters understand and prepare for the emerging electric battery technology.
Now, as well as continuing knife prevention work, Fridays is looking to increase its job opportunities.
Advice from the karting innovation company, the Blair Project and seed funding from University of Warwick, has led to the group of 15 building electric go karts.
The scheme – a real community project – is run by 10 young people with five parent volunteers.
Tyler appointed mechanic-mad teenager Ryan Hughes to manage and local karting enthusiast Kuljit Pahal has brought his expertise too- his six-year-old son Dhian has just started racing in the go-kart championship
The mayor was wowed by the organisation of the project, enthusiasm of the young people and the venue – the Daimler Powerhouse – itself.
Mr Street said: “I am very impressed by what I’ve seen today. I’m passionate about all young people understanding where we are heading electric battery-wise and am committed in bringing opportunities to Coventry as part of my remit as Midlands Mayor.
“Fridays’ young people are showing how working within the community can actively make things happen.”
Tyler, now 20, added: “It’s a great privilege and an honour for Andy to have visited us today.
“Fridays is all about unlocking youth potential and the electric go karts is one of many projects we are working on to engage young people.
“To know he believes and supports what we do is really encouraging.”
Ryan, 18, said the life skills he had learnt as manager were ‘unbelievable’.
Being a not-for-profit organisation means Fridays, Coventry, depends on donations and small grants.
Local businesses which can help with funding, people wanting more information or young people wanting to be part of the project should visit Fridays.org.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch.