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SKIDZ Patron Paddy Hopkirk receives award for charity work

February 25, 2015: Rally driving legend Paddy Hopkirk has received a prestigious award from a leading motor industry association in recognition of his sterling support of motor project charity SKIDZ.

Paddy is a Patron of the Buckinghamshire-based young people’s charity and he has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of SKIDZ throughout the automotive industry.

His efforts were recognised last week by Impact, a leading trade association in the automotive aftermarket. Impact has been operating for 30 years promoting the free exchange of ideas and information within the motor sector.

Paddy was presented with the Graham Platts Trophy, named after the late Graham Platts who was a former Chairman of Impact and boss of the UK’s leading windscreen wiper blade business.

The award was present by Jonathan Duffield, Chairman of the Impact Association and Sales Manager of Primalec, a leading European specialist in the supply of Leak Detection and Repair Solutions. Speaking at a meeting held at the SKIDZ headquarters in High Wycombe, he said: “Graham was a leading light in the Impact organisation and a firm believer in works for charity. It was decided that the trophy would be presented to a person in the automotive industry in recognition of sterling work either for charity or in the automotive industry itself.”

He added: This year, it was decided that it would be very apt to present it to someone who works so hard for our hosts SKIDZ...namely Paddy Hopkirk.”

After receiving his award Paddy, who lives in Penn, Buckinghamshire, said: “I am honoured to receive the trophy but most importantly of all I hope this award brings further exposure to the remarkable work of the SKIDZ charity, which does so much to encourage young people and offer them the opportunity to learn valuable motor mechanic skills – and give them the chance to forge a career in the motor industry.

“I believe SKIDZ are doing important and innovative work to develop young talent which is vital for the future of our industry. SKIDZ are a charity that are really putting something back into the motor world through their fantastic courses, and I believe it is an inspirational organisation which the entire industry should embrace.”

Graham Andrews, Chief Executive Officer for SKIDZ, said: “This is a well-deserved award for Paddy who works so tirelessly to support SKIDZ and broaden awareness of our efforts.”
Originally set up in 1997 in response to a surge in car crime in the High Wycombe area, SKIDZ’ focus was on disadvantaged, disengaged and disaffected 13-16 year olds whom it sought to re-connect with mainstream education via motor vehicle studies delivered in an adult environment.

Since then SKIDZ has steered more than 8,000 youngsters to a brighter future in the South Bucks region. The courses have proved so popular that they have now been extended to allow local schools, colleges and adults to access a range of specialist courses including NVQ studies.

Now SKIDZ is proposing to roll out courses nationwide, based on the successful template developed in High Wycombe, with the ambition of providing ‘accessible-to-all’ motor vehicle education and training across the UK. The charity is currently in advanced talks to open a SKIDZ centre in Paddy’s home town of Belfast.

To find out more about SKIDZ courses and how to get involved or to make a donation visit:

Media Contact: Paul Smith Associates, Tel: 01420 22532;

Notes to editors:
Impact Association was formed about 30 years ago, and is the Trade Association for Manufacturers, Importers and Exporters in the Automotive Aftermarket.

Our aim is to keep our members informed about the industry, by means of meetings and individual contacts, and all information is kept confidential between members.

We meet bi-monthly, and to all intents and purposes are a non-profit-making organisation. Membership is by proposal by existing members and is subject to an annual subscription. Our website is and a list of members may be found there.

25th February 2015