Halfords have been a partner of the Dallaglio Cycle Slam since day 1. Not only have they mended numerous punctures on hundreds of our bikes over three Slams, but recently they got involved in our RugbyWorks programme.

Chairman, Dennis Millard, recognised that Halfords could get involved as a business in supporting our aim in delivering a long-term intensive skills development programme, based on the values of rugby, to 14-16 year olds outside of mainstream education, with the goal to ensure that they achieve sustained education, employment or training. Halfords understands that if you can ignite a passion in a young person, and train them, you can get commitment and loyalty. The Halfords Apprenticeship scheme is a shining example of this.

The Halfords team set up a series of Taster Days in their Auto Centres for our young people in London and Bristol and it has been an enormous success, inspiring many to apply for the Halfords Apprenticeship programme.

Take Mason, when we first met him he would swear endlessly and verbally threaten the other students. He openly admitted to using cannabis and was clearly under the influence during the first few sessions. He had always said he was only interested in building work, but the beauty of the experiences RugbyWorks offer is they can open young people's eyes to new possibilities and make them realise they may have a talent in something they never knew existed. He attended an employability day at Halfords Autocentre in Croydon where he was introduced to what a career could entail as well as their apprenticeship scheme. He showed such enthusiasm on the day that Halfords ultimately amended their age limit in the application process so that Mason could apply.

We are so pleased to report that Mason got the apprenticeship and has now been working for Halfords for nearly six months. Operations Manager Manish Gokani said Mason "…has the potential to have a fantastic career with Halfords, and if he keeps going on the way he is, Mason will be a credit to all of us." We couldn't agree more, and we are so proud of how far he has come and can't thank Halfords enough for investing in our young people.

If your business feels it can support our young people, then please contact jo@dallagliofoundation.com.

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