ALMOST 100 students picked up certificates from entertainer Johnny Ball at the annual Skidz awards.

The comedian, a patron of the charity, presented students with their awards for successfully completing their vehicle maintenance courses during the ceremony at the Arts4Every1 Centre in High Wycombe on January 28.

The High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire Sir Stuart Hampson, Wycombe Mayor Cllr Trevor Snaith and Wycombe District Council Chairman Cllr Ian McEnnis also handed out gongs to the students.

SKIDZ CEO Graham Andrews revealed a host of expansion plans – including taking the charity to Belfast and the launch of a commercial operation to produce car registration number plates to boost the organisation’s coughers.

He said: "There are some very exciting plans in the pipeline and we are therefore introducing commercial initiatives to help fund our work.

"However, we still need the support and benevolence of individuals and businesses who can help us in so many different ways including providing cars for our students to work on, tools, equipment and finance.

"One of our key priorities is to find new premises locally to accommodate more workshops and classrooms.

"I am very hopeful that over the next few years this marvellous charity, which started here in High Wycombe, will become a name that is familiar around the UK and Ireland."

He also revealed the charity – which has helped more than 8,000 young people through its training programmes – was expanding the courses on offer following its link up with schools and the Amersham and Wycombe College.

Johnny Ball told guests he was honoured to be a Patron of a charity and another patron, Dreams founder Mike Clare, thanked the students for their efforts and also praised the charity for its work.

SKIDZ initially launched in 1998 in response to high levels of car crime in and around the High Wycombe area. It took troubled youngsters off the streets and into a working garage.

To find out more about SKIDZ or to make a donation visit