RACING around a track, youngsters were given the chance to try out a kit car they had built.
With police officers and members of the Royal Navy watching on, the Formula 24 race car eased around the track at HMS Sultan in Gosport.
We are saying they can achieve anything and this project has shown that.PCSO Ian Wright
The Driving Futures Cop Car project was organised by Hampshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Hayes.
It gets young people who have difficulties with school learning new skills and gaining confidence.
The group, aged between 11 and 16, were referred by the Key Education Centre, in Gosport, and spent 10 weeks building the kit car from scratch. They will race it against other teams at Goodwood Motor Circuit on Sunday, February 21.
George McBride, 15, said: ‘I enjoyed building the car and getting the experience from what I’ve learnt.
‘It’s worked well and being a navy engineer is something I’d like to do when I’m older.’
Fellow teammate Jordan Heavey agreed.
The 15-year-old from Fareham added: ‘It has been good learning the skills to build a car and mechanics is something I was interested in. It has made me realise this is something I would like to do as a career.’
The project was funded as part of Mr Hayes’ bid to reduce anti-social behaviour.
PCSO Ian Wright, who was in the Royal Navy for 10 years, helped the youngsters make the car.
He said he was immensely proud of what they achieved.
‘This is probably the first positive thing these young people have done,’ he said.
‘We are saying they can achieve anything and this project has shown that.
‘I’m so proud of what they have done and they have been able to stay out of trouble during the weeks of this project.’
HMS Sultan, which is known for being a centre of excellence for engineering, helped with building the car.
Chilton McNaught, officer in charge at the Royal Navy Police, said: ‘This was a unique situation because of the facilities we have and the good ties we have with the police. It was a great opportunity for them.’