Kickstart breaks down barriers to securing or sustaining employment, training or education by hiring out mopeds to individuals at little or no cost.
The rural nature of Norfolk means that a lack of transport is often cited as one of the primary obstacles to participating in work or education. Since being founded in 1996, Kickstart has provided transport to over 9,000 individuals, with over 5,300 going on to secure employment thanks to the scheme. Riders are also put on a communication plan with Kickstart’s Communications Officer and, when relevant, a Jobcentre Employment Advisor to provide ongoing support.
In 2020, Kickstart learnt that their current MOT test provider was retiring. With their large fleet size and location to consider, seeking an alternative provider was neither practical nor cost-efficient. Acting quickly, they sought to secure capital from the J P Blanch fund. A generous grant would allow them to train two staff members to conduct MOT tests, as well as for the construction and equipping of a specialised MOT Testing Bay. This would enable testing to be brought in-house, significantly reducing costs while providing capacity for future income generation and training opportunities.
The Fund was able to fully finance this operation. Both mechanics qualified in September 2020, and by January 2021 the bay had opened and was ready to take care of the 284 fleet vehicles.
A separate fund was also provided for Kickstart to take on an apprentice. Jack was taken on a few years ago and, after being waylaid by the pandemic, was able to complete his apprenticeship in April 2020.