Richard's award for aiding teens
A MECHANIC has been given an award in recognition of his work with youngsters in the community.
Richard Hough, owner of Autoclutch, in Station Road, South Norwood, received the Croydon Education Business Partnership Employer award from Mayor of Croydon Avril Slipper for offering teenagers valuable work experience.
RECOGNITION: Richard Hough accepting his award
He has been inviting young people to work in his garage for more than 20 years and has received numerous awards for his services to the community.
Mr Hough said: "It's something I take very seriously. It's unpaid and actually ends up costing me money and there's a lot of time involved.
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"But I can't reiterate how important work experience is. It's a taste of what they could be doing in the future."
Over the years Mr Hough has taken on youngsters with sight problems and learning difficulties. He has also given those who have dropped out of mainstream education the chance to get some hands-on experience in the world of work.
Mr Hough was given his first job in the garage he would go on to own when he was just 11, so he knows the importance of giving youngsters a chance.
He said: "The award makes this all worthwhile, but it's the young people who are the achievers, not me. The most important thing is that they enjoy it."
But Mr Hough faces a fight to be able to continue his good work as he continues his nine-year battle against redevelopment plans on Station Road.
The proposals, which would mark the end of his business, are expected to go before the Planning Inspectorate on June 7.
Mr Hough said: "If we're closed down, future students in Croydon face losing a valuable placement. You can't replace this. Not many places provide what we do."