The 15th South Shields (St Peter’s) Cub Scouts recently gained a valuable insight into South Shields based motoring firm Vic Young (South Shields) Ltd and its commitment to the local community.

As part of their A Million Hands project, a community impact campaign which encourages young people to support four social issues: dementia, disability, mental wellbeing and clean water and sanitation, the group of cub scouts aged between eight and 10 ½, engaged with local businessman Vic Young to find out what difference he makes to the community they live in. They were particularly interested in exploring what the firm does to meet the needs of people living with disabilities.

The visit was designed to help the scouts learn more about low emission vehicles and the wheelchair accessible vehicle conversions Vic Young develops on-site to support the mobility needs of users, helping to reduce social exclusion and improve well-being and quality of life.

Vic Young has a long association with Motability, the national charity responsible for the Motability WAV & Car Scheme. And they are also one of only six companies in Western Europe that has full Renault Tec conversion approval. In addition, Vic Young Conversions is the sole UK Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle conversion partner for Mercedes-Benz.

Over the years, Vic Young Conversions has developed a wide range of bespoke vehicles, of which many are the first of their kind in the UK. Examples include a mobile cocktail van, electric oven van, a mobile dog parlour, rescue vehicles, health service vehicles and vehicles converted for funeral directors.

In 2015, the firm launched Electric Vehicle Evolution (EVE), a revolutionary concept in disabled passenger transport. EVE is based on the Nissan e-NV200 Combi, which has been customised by Vic Young Conversions. The conversion includes a vehicle ramp system to ensure that the wheelchair user can access the vehicle with ease and EVE’s five standard passenger seats are retained even while a wheelchair user is on board, meaning greater flexibility for passenger transport.

Kelly Bell, Adult Volunteer at the 15th South Shields (St Peter’s) Cub Scouts said: “We are really grateful to Vic and his team for making our visit so interesting and enjoyable. The Cubs came to learn about low emission cars and wheelchair accessible vehicles, but left with a wealth of knowledge about how vehicles can be adapted to suit the specific needs of an individual, business or charity – it was truly fascinating. The Cubs will also use that knowledge to help form their Community Impact project.

“Vic gave them the opportunity to think about how they could change the cars of the future. The Cubs will definitely remember their visit and the Oven Van was certainly a hit, with most of the group commenting they would love to have one when they are old enough!”

Vic Young, Manager Director at Vic Young (South Shields) Ltd added: “We were delighted to host 15th South Shields (St Peter’s) Cub Scouts and help them to gain an insight into the conversions we develop. We have a strong commitment to supporting our local community, and visits like this enable us to share our expertise and help young people to learn about our capabilities.

“We set a competition for the group to design a vehicle for the future and the designs we received were so imaginative then it was difficult to choose a winner, so we decided that each entry was a winner. Each Cub will receive a special set of Vic Young overalls and a winner’s certificate, plus an opportunity for a vehicle demonstration ride with parents or a guardian.”

Vic Young, a family-run business established more than 40 years ago provides a broad spectrum of vehicles for sale, rent and short-term hire as well as fleet management services, servicing and MOTs. The firm’s portfolio also includes a specialist Motability division, Vic Young Mobility, which supplies cars, adaptations and wheelchair accessible vehicles, and Vic Young Conversions, which develops unique conversions for various specialist vehicles including those for full Motability approval.

Over the last four decades, Vic Young has been a champion of the local community in South Tyneside and the wider North East, and has supported a number of businesses, charities and private individuals. This commitment to the region was recognised at the North East Business Awards 2016 grand final where the firm was awarded the Heart of the Community trophy.