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Local mechanics share life skills with students

MELKSHAM Oak sixth-formers were given a guided tour of what lurks beneath the bonnet of a car, in a presentation by a local family business aiming to equip them with valuable life skills.

Manager and one of the owners of the M.O.T Centre based in Melksham, Ben Johnson, visited the school last month to talk to students about how to carry out regular checks on their own cars in between services and how to prepare for an upcoming MOT. The talk is hoped to be one of many that Ben and the team at the M.O.T Centre give to groups in the community.

Ben explained, “The idea to give these talks stemmed from when my wife and her sisters were going to a hen party and called me up as a warning light had come up on the dash. I was trying to explain to them what to do over the phone, how to rectify it so they can get home okay, and I thought that this is something everyone could benefit from – simple advice that could help them in the future.

“The first group of people that came to mind who could benefit from this were students. Simple things that you can do yourself, like, pre-MOT checks, checking your levels, like oil and water, which some people don’t realise you should do between services.

“Putting your car in for an MOTis a nervous time for anyone – so with our advice they can go in a bit more confident.

“We’re a local family business, and this is our way of giving back – I went to George Ward School myself, and Mr Phillips was one of my teachers there – so it’s nice to do something for them and give my time.”

Steve Phillips, who is assistant headteacher of Melksham Oak and head of sixth form said, “Brilliant! This was a great opportunity for the kids and a really important set of life skills to learn.

“As more of them are learning to drive, I’ve asked them questions like ‘how do you change the oil?’, and they had no idea! So what Ben has done is excellent and really helpful.”

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