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30 July 2014

Wednesday 30 July 2014

The first ever newly qualified Haynes MechaniX spent the weekend (Friday 25 July to Sunday 27 July) at Folkestone Racecourse as part of the Kent VW Festival 2014, after being invited by the organisers to unveil their MOT approved car and share their project experiences. 

Young people from Prospex Youth Club in Islington worked on Percy the Polo as part of the 7-week Haynes MechaniX pilot project between April and May 2014. In the process, they gained City & Guilds qualifications while also bringing an old car to MOT standard.

The Festival had more than 4,000 visitors over the weekend. In its third year, the Kent VW Festival had a wide range of different activities on show including a TSR Racing VW Drag Car, arts and crafts stalls, 25 live music acts, and a charity auction.

The Haynes MechaniX arrived on Friday looking forward to showcasing Percy the Polo to the biggest audience to date! But before any of this could happen, the group had to work as a team to set up their tents and camping area, which would be their new home for the weekend.

Once completed Dee (Co- Founder of VW Kent) set the MechaniX a challenge to put up a large marquee without any instructions. This tested the Mechanix team building, communication and ingenuity skills. Once this task was successfully completed the MechaniX were able to enjoy the evening entertainment.

Over the festival Percy was under the gaze of various VW enthusiasts, who all thought the car looked great. Many enthusiasts were very impressed with the MechaniX' knowledge and understanding of how a car works and how to style a car.


The MechaniX left the event glowing with confidence from the all the positive feedback they had received from professional VW restorers, and the general public.

Dee Parkinson, one of the founders of the VW Festival, was more than happy to get the Haynes MechaniX involved once he heard about the project:

“I got a call from Jas Hothi (sports development officer at London Youth) who told me about the project and I just thought Haynes MechaniX sounded like a really good community based project which works with a mix of young people. It allows them to bring a lot of positive energy and gives them a focal point. It’s a really worthy cause and it will be great to have them not only presenting the car but also helping out at the Festival.”

The young people have all really enjoyed the opportunity to showcase Percy the Polo after spending time working hard to restore the car through the Haynes MechaniX project. It's given them the opportunity to see what else can be achieved beyond just gaining the City & Guilds accreditation and even after the pilot had officially ended.

London Youth would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported the Haynes MechaniX pilot project and made this possible, including Haynes Publishing Group, Draper Tools, RMTraining, Kent VW Festival, and Prospex Youth Club of course!

Keep an eye out for where Percy the Polo travels to next…