I had an unexpected yet excellent experience this week: The alternator in my car packed up leaving me without car transport ahead of my sister’s wedding this weekend (the wedding is in Hampshire and I live in Gravesend, Kent over 100 miles away!), not to mention needing to get out to my hypnosis clients – Obviously, that was not the excellent experience – read on… So after swearing profusely at the blasted machine , I was straight onto Google maps looking for a local garage to recover and fix it.
Phoning the nearest garage resulted in me having to deal with a grumpy and reluctant mechanic who clearly didn’t really want my business or know anything about customer service. honestly, it amazes me that they can get away with the sort of surly and unpleasant demeanour and still be in business!
So widening the search slightly, I selected a company called Auto22 who had their company logo and web site address on their Google maps presence (always a good sign in my book). Despite being after closing, they took my call and were very helpful and understanding about the situation I found myself in and arranged for someone to come out first thing to collect the offending vehicle.
All fixed, they came and collected me and en-route to their garage I got chatting to the service advisor (Mark) who explained that they are actually a social enterprise, able to invest all their profits in supporting young people in gaining work experience opportunities, work placements, apprenticeships and eventually getting their first job.
Catch22: a charity for young people
The parent charity is: Catch22 and their website says:
“Catch22 is a national charity that works with young people who find themselves in difficult situations. Whatever the reason for their situation, we help them out. We work with their families and their communities wherever and whenever young people need us most; in schools, on the streets, in the home, at community centres, shopping centres, in police stations, and in custody”
Auto22: a social enterprise
It turns out that Auto22 is one of the mechanisms that the charity use to enable young people to gain education (they have a classroom in the next door Catch22 building where they are taught maths, English and more practical things) and provide hands on mechanics training with the aim of placing their graduates into apprenticeships and actual work placements.
I could not have been happier to be handing over money for the work on my car and the whole experience was easy and honest and I feel good that I’ve been able to contribute to a charity that directly benefits the local Gravesend community. Plus I’ve got a working car to get to my sister’s wedding AND a reliable garage to get the car serviced and MOT’d later in the year so I am more than happy to recommend their services here, plus its such an unusual and yet fantastic idea that its worth reading about anyway.
Doing something to support Catch22 and Auto22
I’m jumping out of a plane on the 28th of August, so please read my post about it and then contribute a little something to help. Thanks:
Recommended: happy, smart, efficient and good for the community
Auto22 offers: servicing and repair on all makes of cars and light vans, MOTs, and tyre and exhaust replacements. All work is carried out by professionally qualified and experienced technicians using the latest diagnostic equipment, and they offer a free customer drop off and pick up service within a three mile radius.
Call them: 01474 362 413