I found out about the course from my friend who had been given a leaflet from her Connexions advisor. At the time I had no motivation and since leaving School had done nothing for over a year.  To be honest I only wanted to go on the course to learn to drive but the staff and tutors were brilliant. They made you feel like you could achieve something with your life and were great role models so I started to enjoy learning again. Since then FROG helped me gain a level 1 and 2 basic skills qualification, level 2 youth work qualification, a one year apprenticeship that enabled me to do a level 2 in Youth Work and am now at Sunderland University. I can honestly say this course has changed my life.
Roxanne Yare

 

Brilliant course for anyone who has very little confidence. I am a single parent with two children both in full time school. I wanted to do something with my life but was constantly told by my ex partner that I could never achieve anything, suffered domestic violence and over time my confidence hit rock bottom. I found out about the course from June a local lady who had been on the course. She said the staff were really supportive and I should contact them. The staff helped me to believe in myself and I now help other people with their CV’s, application forms and job search. I would never have had the confidence to walk into college but with FROG’s help I have gone onto gain a level 2 and level 3 qualifications in advice and guidance.  
Amy

 

I got involved in the project when a letter arrived through my door saying they FROG were working together with my Housing Association Coast and Country. The letter offered ten tenants an opportunity to gain a free provisional license, free theory/driving test and some driving lessons in exchange for volunteering in the community.  We not only cleaned up an area of land that was a dumping ground but painted fencing and designed the flower beds. When we finished the project I was fortunate to gain full time employment.
George Elcoate

 

Solutions to Employment through my Housing Association Tees Valley Housing offering their tenants an opportunity to learn to drive. If it wasn’t for the project I could not have afforded to do my lessons and test. From the age of 16  29yrs I spent most of my years in and out of prison for numerous things. I met someone justI am a 38 year old male who was successful in gaining a place with FROG Wheels after I got out of prison and settled down with a family. However, I still found it hard to get a job and didn’t want to end up back in prison. I tried hard to get jobs but no where permanent just few weeks/months shut down as a labourer because those that permanent needed me to travel and have a full driving licence.I have kept out of trouble for 9 years now and the only thing I have done wrong was driving without a licence which I did twice and got caught which, led to community service and a tag. When I received the letter from Tees Valley Housing about participating in voluntary work in return for subsided lessons and a free provisional license, free theory and driving test I jumped at the chance. Since passing my Test with the Wheels Project I have gained full time permanent employment and they are now going to train me up to drive a Bob Cat and JCB for which a driving licence is needed to do this. Can I say thank you to Big Lottery, TeesValley Housing, and FROG for giving me the opportunity to gain a full driving license and in doing so provide a better future for my family. 
Robert Ward

 

On my recent visit to the North East I was fortunate enough to visit the FROG Wheels Solutions to Employment Project. Those lucky enough to secure a place are offered a free provisional license, free driving /theory test, driving lessons or the opportunity to gain a taxi badge so long as they engage in learning and do some meaningful voluntary work. I met with a group of young people and long term unemployed adults who told me they felt let down by the major Government Programmes. One example was a man who had asked his local Job Centre for help to gain his taxi badge. He explained he had told his advisor that he would find employment yet still no help was available. He went onto praise the work of FROG and how through their support he now has a job as a taxi driver. I heard many real experiences of how people felt more confident, had gained new skills and how having a full time driving license had changed their lives. There were many more positive stories, such as one young lady who with a full driving license is now a mobile beauty therapist. It is my personal opinion that the project is inspirational, cost effective and there is no doubt it works. For this reason I felt it necessary to write to the staff at FROG to say how proud you all should be of your achievements and; that the funding and support provided is making a real positive impact on many people’s lives. Yours sincerely,
Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Work & Pensions
Member of Parliament for Birmingham Hodge Hill

 

The Routes to Employment Team work in partner ship with the Wheels Project and have accessed their support on a number of occasions to support the residents of the borough access employment opportunities; we have found that the support available enables residents to access career opportunities they may not have been previously able to consider. The support has also enabled the Routes to Employment team to provide comprehensive package of support which is not available anywhere else in the country. We have been delighted with the project and value its contribution to our support provision. Lesley Pearson, Employment and Apprenticeship Advisor Redcar and Cleveland Council. “Wheel Solutions provided a genuine opportunity for some of our local young people who are Not in Education, Employment or Training to acquire skills and experience that helped them to enhance their offer to employers. Some have moved on to secure employment and their additional skills, for example having a driving licence,would have been completely out of their reach without the support of Wheel Solutions. 
David Coates NEET Intervention Team Manager, Connexions Redcar & Cleveland

 

We think that the Wheel Solution project is a really fantastic, innovative project that had the capacity to really change people’s lives. As an organisation committed to helping our tenants and residents, we supported the project by putting around 35 tenants through the programme. We believe that having a driving licence is a real plus for unemployed people seeking work and that it would help considerably for those who were not able to rely on public transport to get to their place of work. The volunteering aspect of the project was particularly useful to us as we would ask tenants to identify problems within neighbourhoods that could be helped with the work of volunteers. Some great green spaces were created, shops were removed of graffiti, community centre gardens were cleared and peaceful havens created; and volunteers helped to turn an empty house into a neighbourhood hub. In terms of the people it was great to see them passing their driving tests. It was a really heart-warming experience to attend an event that saw the volunteers receive their awards. We would always welcome the opportunity to continue to be a part of this great project and think that the team at FROG did a fantastic job in delivering the project. Thanks
Julie Felgate Inclusion & Strategy Manager, Coast & Country

 

I passionately believe that a critical way we will to reduce health inequalities is through engaging closely with local communities to support small but significant changes in behaviour to improve health. Organisations like FROG are critical to this FROG has a real and impressive connection with their community; and quite rightly aspires for the very best for people in their community. It is not quite right to say “organisations like FROG” – there are no other organisations like FROG! Their passion, drive, innovation and enthusiasm is exceptional; coupled with the ability to put these qualities into delivering real, practical programmes for improvement that have engaged their community in delivering tangible change make them unique in my experience in this area.
Assistant Director of Public Health

 

I passionately believe that a critical way we will to reduce health inequalities is through engaging closely with local communities to support small but significant changes in behaviour to improve health.  Organisations like FROG are critical to this – FROG has a real and impressive connection with their community; and quite rightly aspires for the very best for people in their community.  It is not quite right to say “organisations like FROG” – there are no other organisations like FROG!  Their passion, drive, innovation and enthusiasm is exceptional; coupled with the ability to put these qualities into delivering real, practical programmes for improvement that have engaged their community in delivering tangible change make them unique in my experience in this area.

Mark Adams Assistant Director of Public Health.

The Routes to Employment Team work in partner ship with the Wheels Project and have accessed their support on a number of occasions to support the residents of the borough access employment opportunities; we have found that the support available enables residents to access career opportunities they may not have been previously able to consider.  The support has also enabled the Routes to Employment team to provide comprehensive package of support which is not available anywhere else in the country.   We have been delighted with the project and value its contribution to our support provision.  Lesley Pearson, Employment and Apprenticeship Advisor Redcar and Cleveland Council