Having discovered Outkast Panda during a Grants for Good voting round in 2022, Dave Senior – a Transport Manager from warehousing and haulage business, TEPS – has now begun using his skills in mechanics to volunteer for the organisation, whilst supporting them further with a champion grant.
In 2022 the John Good Group were introduced to Hull-based Community Interest Company, Outkast Panda Crew, who applied for Grants for Good – a charitable fund provided by Group and managed by the Matthew Good Foundation. Each quarterly round of Grants for Good sees just five charities from a pool of over 400 applicants hope to be awarded a share of the fund. The final five are put to a vote of John Good Group employees, with the winners of the vote receiving the largest share of the fund. In December 2022, Outkast Panda Crew made the final five and after the vote were awarded £2,000.
The team at Outkast Panda help young people at risk of falling into antisocial behaviour and crime find a positive environment to build new skills and find pathways to careers in mechanics. The grant they received helped them to prepare a vehicle to compete in a Time Attack competition – providing opportunities for students to build, prepare and maintain a competition vehicle, with some students also training as pit crew.
One employee that cast their vote for Outkast Panda was Dave Senior, a transport manager for John Good Group subsidiary, TEPS – and one of the Group’s longest serving employees having worked at TEPS for forty years. Growing up around the corner from the Outkast Panda garage in Hull, he knew the benefit this type of organisation could have on the community and was keen to see them succeed.
When he first started his career, Dave had explored the idea of being a mechanic in a youth training scheme but ended up training with TEPS in transport management instead, which led to a full-time job. Dave loves working with the team at TEPS and has never looked back, however, he was still interested in motor mechanics, so he kept it up as a hobby, spending his spare time working on motorbikes and cars.
After learning about Outkast Panda for the first time in the Grants for Good vote, Dave was really inspired by what they were doing in the community, so he contacted them and joined as a volunteer.
Dave says, “This is a really great opportunity for me to take part in an activity that I enjoy, whilst also giving back to the young people in this community. I grew up around here, and if this had been here when I was younger it’s something I would have been really interested in. I help out on a Friday night after work, and I always bring the biscuits! I’ve chatted with the lads about my life and their early life and tried to mentor them about the good things that can come out of being part of a team, and how using each other’s good points can help in their life to succeed in their chosen careers.”
With his first few volunteering sessions going really well, Dave applied to The Matthew Good Foundation to help the charity even further. The Foundation manages an employee giving programme for the John Good Group, which enables employees to apply for Champion Grants that can help to amplify the impact of small charitable organisations in their local area. Any employee of the Group can apply for £500 for their choice of organisation, and when employees also volunteer for a charity, they can apply for a larger grant of £1000.
Dave’s application was successful, and we went along with him to present their grant and catch up with the team at Outcast Panda Crew on a Friday evening whilst the team were putting the finishing touches on the time attack vehicle they have been working tirelessly to prepare for their upcoming competition.