Lady Dannatt meets students while being shown around Open Road West Norfolk by David Lennard Jones. Picture: Paul Tibbs.

A King’s Lynn-based charity helping young people work towards a career in the motor industry has received a visit from the High Sheriff of Norfolk.

Lady Dannatt MBE visited Open Road West Norfolk’s workshop in Rollesby Road, on the town’s Hardwick Industrial Estate, to meet staff and students on Monday.

Open Road, launched five years ago, offers work experience and mechanical training to school pupils in years 10 and 11, giving them the chance to study towards industry-recognised qualifications.

Lady Dannatt said: “The work done here is simply fantastic, and it’s so exciting to see students gripped by their passion for cars and gain access to a career in something they really love.

“The mentoring and one-to-one teaching approach staff take is so important to the learning process and the charity  offers opportunities which otherwise wouldn’t be available.”

Charity trustee David Lennard Jones added: “It’s great to get the chance to show Lady Dannatt the work we do here, and the difference we hopefully make to students’ lives.

“I view Open Road’s work as an important investment in our area. A lot of the students struggle in school or have been excluded in the past, but we provide them with the chance to improve their self-esteem and confidence to pursue a successful career.”

Working one day a week at the charity, students are sponsored by their schools to attend the garage workshop to get hands-on experience with cars.

Students study for a minimum of ten weeks a year to gain IMI (Institute of the Motor Industry) accredited qualifications, which can lead to further study or employment.

The West Norfolk trust also runs the Open Road Extra scheme aimed at people aged 19 to 65 who are unemployed and looking for work, sponsored by the European Social Fund.

For more information about Open Road West Norfolk, call 01553 776600 or visit the website: www.openroadtraining.co.uk