<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Surrey Life today click here

The Surrey Hills Society visit the GASP Motor Project in Albury

PUBLISHED: 12:21 16 August 2017 | UPDATED: 12:21 16 August 2017

Chris (centre) with GASP members, Sally Varah (left) and Surrey Hills Society members

Chris (centre) with GASP members, Sally Varah (left) and Surrey Hills Society members

Archant

Even those who spend their days celebrating our Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty can be surprised by what they find down the country lanes, as chairman of the Surrey Hills Society, Christine Howard, discovers when she visits the GASP Motor Project in Albury

Woking High with Prince Edward Woking High with Prince Edward

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine July 2017

***

I still get surprised when I discover things happening in the Surrey Hills that are right under my nose, and I know nothing about. This happened recently when I was invited to visit an extraordinary youth project at the bottom of Newlands Corner in Albury, near Guildford.

The GASP Motor Project was launched in 2005 as an evening activity for young people in and around the locality of Gomshall, Albury, Shere and Peaslake (hence the acronym, GASP). The concept was conceived by the Lychgate Youth Trust, Surrey Police and Surrey Probation Service, who recognised the need for a diversionary activity for – among others – young people joyriding and torching stolen cars in our Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The project is now a registered charity and runs daytime, after school and evening programmes with young people, aged 14 to 19, to give them hands¬on motor mechanics and practical engineering skills, which often results in them achieving recognised accreditations. The sessions are delivered in a modern, custom¬built workshop, which opened in 2012 and was built to GASP specifications by the Northumberland Estates – or from their customised Mobile Workshop, which travels across Surrey. Today, the work of GASP is so well respected that both HRH The Duke of Kent and HRH The Earl of Wessex have visited – Prince Edward in February of this year.

Life-changing opportunities

Sally Varah MBE DL, the current chairman told me that in 2008/2009 she undertook the role of High Sheriff in Surrey, in place of her late husband, Michael, when he died suddenly. As Surrey’s chief Probation Officer he had supported the foundation of the GASP Motor Project and respected the changes in behaviours that the charity brings about. Sally said she was similarly impressed by the outcomes achieved by GASP and the life¬changing opportunities it gives to ‘at risk’ and marginalised young people, in a county where the gap between rich and poor is extreme. In the New Year Honours List 2016 she was awarded an MBE, in part for her developmental work as Chair of the GASP Motor Project.

One of the things I found inspiring about the project was the range of local companies that had got behind this small charity. More important than money is the opportunities these companies offer the young people who take part. Unum, based in Dorking funded a 10-week industry¬linked programme with Therfield School and Johnston Sweepers, where students gained experience working on the production line, and McLaren in Woking, offers its prestigious premises for the GASP Awards presentation events.

Other Surrey organisations lending a hand include: Stanhope-Seta, who piloted the industry programme, and the Rutland Group, who manage Dunsfold Park and offer their racing track for the GASP evening teams to race the electric kit cars they have built. Canon UK, in Reigate, sponsor the project’s printing requirements. Many opportunities for collaborative working have been offered by Brooklands Museum in recent years and in 2016, the very Shere Hill Climb event for classic cars gave profits raised from the event to GASP. In May of this year, Guildford Symphony Orchestra had a retiring fund at their Tango Fiesta concert at G Live in Guildford to raise much-needed cash to support the work of GASP.

Just as the Surrey Hills Society is a network of people working to support the special countryside here in Surrey, the GASP Motor Project and its network of supporters are making a real difference to young people’s lives from this tiny workshop at the base of one of Surrey’s most famous beauty spots.

- For more information about the GASP Motor Project, visit gaspmotorproject.org

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Surrey visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Surrey staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Surrey account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Surrey Life

Yesterday, 10:56

The RAF is 100 years old this month. Ken Delve, who served with the RAF for 20 years, explores Surrey’s airfields and the parts they have played in the history of aviation over the past century

Read more
Yesterday, 10:03

Bassist and songwriter Jean-Jacques Burnel is a founder member of the band once known as The Guildford Stranglers. He speaks to Duncan Hall

Read more
Yesterday, 09:40

One of the biggest foodie events in the Surrey calendar is back for 2018! Voting is open and this year’s event will take place at G Live, Guildford on Thursday 13 September 2018

Read more
Yesterday, 09:35

Is there anything Mel Giedroyc cannot put her hand to? Despite parting ways with the Great British Bake Off when it moved to Channel 4 last year, she’s barely been off our TV screens; hosting Let It Shine, and Eurovision, as well as The Generation Game alongside her best pal and comedy sidekick Sue Perkins.

Read more
Mon, 11:34

Great things to do in Surrey this weekend: art exhibitions, walks, concerts, theatre, places to visit and other events and ideas.

Read more
Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Surrey County Show has been an annual fixture since the 1950s and the 2018 show is set to be the biggest and best yet

Read more
Tuesday, April 17, 2018

This edition of Surrey Life features all the local ingredients to make this month special

Read more
Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Whether it’s coronation chicken on sliced granary or a gluten free Victoria sponge, no sandwich works without the all-important filling!

Read more
Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The vegetarian and vegan offering in Surrey seems to be improving by the week. Here are nine of the best restaurants and cafés for vegetarians and vegans in Surrey

Read more
Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Small Designs is a collaboration between Ewhurst-based husband and wife team Deej and Small Carter, creating unique objects from reclaimed wood

Read more
Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Surrey-based Love Water has produced a water cooler for supporters of every 2018 World Cup team and Surrey Life readers have the chance to win one

Read more
Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Cranleigh Preparatory School has announced its new Headmaster will be Neil Brooks, current Principal of Fulham Prep Schools and previously Head of Cothill House

Read more
Friday, April 13, 2018

Surrey, set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, has a wealth of beautiful gardens to visit. Throughout the open garden season you will find an array of stunning choices, many also serving delicious home-made teas to complete your visit. Gardening editor Leigh Clapp picks out a selection of her favourites

Read more
Friday, April 13, 2018

We round up 10 of the most beautiful photos of Surrey shared on Instagram this week…

Read more
 
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Surrey's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Property Search