GASP Motor Project Award Winner

Our huge congratulations go to Sean Simmonds who last night received an award from the GASP Motor ...

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Our huge congratulations go to Sean Simmonds who last night received an award from the GASP Motor Project for Outstanding Work in Industry during his program with them during the last academic year.

GASP are a charity whose work allows young people aged between 14 and 19 years who are living in Surrey and the surrounding area to learn basic motor mechanics and practical engineering skills in a modern workshop, based at Albury. We also provide a mobile service across the county. GASP announced a new partnership with Johnston Sweepers, based in Dorking, to provide a ten week program specifically for Therfield students.

The four lucky students spent alternating weeks at the GASP workshop and then Johnston Sweepers. At GASP they learnt basic skills in motor mechanics including taking engines apart and putting them back together, changing wheels and also how to maintain the cars they were working on. At Johnston Sweepers the students were able to shadow workers on the production line and take part in building the sweepers which were being made.

Sean joined the program in week 3 of 10 due to another student’s illness and was instantly a hit. Having started the program late Sean picked up the skills he had missed and started to push himself in this new environment. Sean has been recognised particularly for his work at Johnston Sweepers where he was so successful he even returned for a one weeks work experience in the summer holidays.

The awards ceremony was held at McLaren’s Techonology Centre in Woking which is an amazing facility completely closed off to the public. A buffet preceded the awards ceremony which was attended by numerous charities and large companies. After ceremony ended Sean, his mother and Mr Cowlin were treated to a tour of the facility where they saw first hand the way the McLaren cars are assembled, the research ‘pods’ which the scientists use to develop wide varieties of technologies as well as a tour of the McLaren Formula 1 cars ranging from the 1960s to the current car.

Sean said ‘It was a huge honour to receive the award and it has certainly opened my eyes to lots of opportunities. I am interested in completing an apprenticeship when I have completed my GCSEs and seeing the McLaren centre has really shown me what I can do if I work hard’. Mr Cowlin said ‘Sean has worked very hard and the award is his just reward. Everyone at GASP had been immensely impressed by Sean and we hope that he will use the opportunity and experience to really inspire him to a great future’.

Congratulations Sean!