In September 1996, YOT and The Bristol Wheels Project amalgamated formally through Companies House to become The Wheels Project Ltd. The Articles described in the Memorandum of Association of the Youth and Community Health Trust were adopted in full by The Wheels Project Ltd. The Registered Charity Number changed from 293918 to 1081236 in June 2000. Our accounts are externally audited for financial years ending 31 March.
Board Directors meet with the General Manager on a quarterly basis to review the progress of the Project and discuss issues and plans in the months ahead. An additional meeting is held in December for the Annual General Meeting. Agendas and reports are issued a fortnight before each meeting via the General Manager. Any items Directors would like to raise should be notified beforehand.
In recent years the emphasis of The Wheels Project has moved away from court-based community programmes and has centred much more on crime prevention and targets groups of socially excluded teenagers living in geographic areas showing the highest levels of recorded crime and social depravation. The emphasis of our work has become increasingly training orientated some of which carries nationally accredited awards. Our training areas concentrate not only on mechanical repair but also on life skills, basic skills, road safety, driving and the law and employment. We employ staff who are specialised in their training/management areas and have enjoyed a low turnover during the Project’s lifetime.
Attendance levels of beneficiaries average 85% on all programmes. We deliver to about 300 young people each year and engage the services of a wide variety of speakers such as Avon Fire & Rescue Service and representatives from the motor industry.
Since 2000 The Wheels Project has run a Community Vehicle Programme which involves working with groups of young people who have been identified by local practitioners such as youth leaders, school teachers and police officers, as having emotional and behaviour difficulties. Some of these groups are tasked with identifying a suitable vehicle that they can renovate and gift to an appropriate community group that may be based locally, nationally or internationally.
In November 2000 The Wheels Project gained Approved Training Provider Status with the Employment Service.
In 2002 the Project renewed its links with the Learning & Skills Council and delivered an Entry to Employment Programme.
In 2004 the Adult Learning Inspectorate awarded us a ‘satisfactory’ grade and an ‘improving’ provision on their return in May 2005.
In August 2005 the Entry to Employment Programme was replaced by an Education Unlimited Programme superintended by the City of Bristol College and co-financed by the Learning and Skills Council and Objective 3 monies from the European Social Fund.
In 2006 2 out of 3 learners joining our EUL programme left for either full time work or a F.E. training course
In January 2007 the City of Bristol College withdrew its support of our Education Unlimited programme due to lack of funds. The Wheels Project continued to deliver programmes to 14-16 year olds.
By April 2009 The Wheels Project had increased the delivery of its Junior programme from 37 to 57 each year, with over 250 young people attending annually. This programme continued to reflect the ‘Every Child Matters’ agenda as set out by the Government in 2004 and continued working with young people living in the most socially deprived areas. Funding came from a wide range of sponsors such as Positive Activities for Young People, Youth Opportunity Fund, local and national Trusts and, from May 2008, a major new sponsor the West of England Road Safety Partnership for work aimed at reducing the number of deaths and serious injuries from road traffic collisions involving new moped riders.
In June 2009 The Wheels Project was awarded a significant grant over 2 years from the Wates Foundation to work with the Bristol Offender Management Unit which works with 500 of the most prolific offenders in Bristol.
In 2008 we were given notice to quit the building by 30 September 2009 after 17 successful years operating from this site in Emery Road, Brislington. We moved, in August 2009, to new, larger premises half a mile away in Bonville Road, Brislington where we are able to deliver programmes to more than 1 group at a time as a result of having the luxury of 2 distinct workshop and classroom areas.
In April 2012 The Wheels Project was awarded the PQASSO Quality Mark at Level 2 by the Charities Evaluation Services.
Also in 2012 The Wheels Project became a Bristol City Council approved Alternative Education Provider.