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Where did we begin...

Track 2000 was co-founded by Terry Parry and Tony Crocker, who met in 1986 whilst working for the Community Support Anti Waste Scheme. C.S.A.W.S was the largest recycling project in Wales. Tony worked on the paper collection side of the project whilst Terry worked on the furniture collection. However, in November 1989 CSAWS went into liquidation and the project folded.

CSAWS had a training division and they set up an operation known as Statjoint. They applied for a property in Hope Terrace in the Splott area of the City which they managed to secure. Tony was employed as the Training Manager and Terry was employed as Placement Co-ordinator and was given the opportunity to run a furniture project, which was named Second Choice Furniture. Statjoint experienced financial difficulties and went into liquidation in November 1990. Following their experiences, Terry suggested to Tony the viability of setting up a furniture-training centre. Terry felt that with the skills they had attained, they could make the project work...

The first call was to local councillor Geoff Mungham in March 1991 to see if he could help them remain in the property in Hope Terrace. Terry and Tony met with Geoff on a Saturday morning to discuss the project and the possibility of them remaining in Hope Terrace. Councillor Mungham called a meeting with the Director of Properties. We were aware that C.S.A.W.S had the property at a peppercorn facility; which amounted to £1.50 for ten years. The Director of Properties then suggested a £500 rent for the first six months to see if we could stabilise the project. We didn't mention the C.S.A.W.S peppercorn facility, as were happy just to have a base.

The next milestone was when Tony set up a meeting with Alun Michael MP to discuss our ideas and the proposed project. Alun called a meeting with Paul Sheldon, Managing Director of South Glamorgn Tech, Lord jack Brooks and Geoff Mungham of Cardiff Coity Council to discuss funding for the suggested project. It was relayed that a managment structure needed to be devised to promote the intended venture. Tony then became Training & Fund-raising Coordinator and Terry became Community Project Coordinator. Councillor Mungham suggested that we apply for an Urban Aid Grant, which we did... 

The Green Goddess...

 

 


We were offered a vehicle by Cardiff City Council which we duly accepted. The vehicle in question was an old Bedford van; this enabled us to collect items of furniture to renovate and repair within our training workshops. Tony and Terry painted the vehicle with green and blackspeck Hammerite and duly named her the 'Green Goddess'.

The Green Goddess was our lifesaver; she always started first time and never broke down - but she only managed twenty miles per hour! She enabled us to begin our project by collecting household items from members of the public. Tony worked very hard applying for grants, which was our sustenance in the early years and helped the charity to survive. We were then offered a vehicle from Great Western; it was a Ford Transit, but when we went to inspect it we discovered that it did not have an engine! We purchased a second hand engine and a friend of the Charity Mr Tony Wong fitted it for us. Eight months into the project, Tony and Terry were still unemployed and we were required to still sign on every week to help pay the bills. Terry and Tony were under pressure from the Employment Service, as they were Adult Trainers and they wanted them to return to work. Alun Michael approached the Employment Service asking them to facilitate them with a six-month trial period to see if the project would work. Cardiff County Council told us that they considered us to be priority one for funding, but eighteen projects received funding and we were refused. We were unable to find out why and no one would give us an explanation.

Terry and Tony were both ready to throw in the towel because of the ever increasing financial situation. They both had mortgages to pay and families to keep and were feeling very dejected. They both felt that the service would be beneficial to the community, but were greatly dissapointed at the refusal of the funding application.

The following day Terry and Tony received a telephone call from Lorraine Barret, Alun Michael's secretary who told us that Alun had been asked by the Labour Party to ask the Prime Minister a question. Alun wanted to ask him about the project Tony and Terry had proposed. Alun Michael told John Major that two trainers in his constituency, training people with learning difficulties were unable to obtain funding. John Major replied by saying that 2.3 million people were unemployed at that time and that training companies around the UK were working to train ALL people. The next day, Track 2000 were inundated with phone calls. South Glamorgan Tech called offering us a contract for five people; within six months this became twenty five poeple. We were off and running and Terry Parry and Tony Crocker were now paid members of staff for Track 2000 Community Resource Services.

Cardiff City Council Offices met to discuss our Urban Aid Grant and we were advised that the bid we submitted had been too low. Tony then reapplied for the grant and was successful. Tony and terry then met to plan the next five years. They decided that they would try and achieve the following: 

  • They would now borrow any money or go overdrawn in the bank as they had previously witnessed the downfall of C.S.A.W.S and Statjoint because of these reason.
  • They would try to employ a member of staff every year - we now have thirteen in total
  • Track 2000 won the Ford European Conservation Award amounting to £15,000 and stayed three days in London sharing our project with other competitors who attended.
  • Finally, they won a lottery grant of £347,000 to be match funded with European Regional Development Fund of £368,000. This enabled Track 2000 to purchase our current premises at Resource House, we were then able to renovate the building into a community training centre.

Over the years one of our major problems has been storage. Cardiff City Council offered us a site in the Mynachdy are of the city. However, we had problems with vandalism and breaking into the property to burn the furniture. We then went to Cardiff Bay Development Corporation to see if they could assist us with some storage space. We received an offer on a rent agreement on the Old Post Office Vehicle Service Building on Bute Street. This venue provided the charity storage facility and a viewing area for members of the public.

We then met with the Director of Business In The Community, Mr Simon Knighton. Simon was clearly impressed and supported our enthusiasm and beliefs. Simon became a wonderful advocate for the charity and was instrumental in setting up meetings with Cardiff BAy and many other businesses. He coordinated  'The Seeing Is Believing' visit, which encompassed all the major companies in Cardiff. Through these visits, we were to meet many loyal supporters such as Terry Ryan, Mike Fenwick, Paul Vanner, Ann Haywood; some of whom have become Executive Members of the chairty. Simon was responsible for us meeting the Prince of Wales on four separate occasions. Both Tony and myself had the honour of receiving an MBE for Service to Community and it was Simon who had nominated us for these prestigious awards. We are eternally grateful for his intervention within our charity and for generating such enthusiasm and commitment...

How we grew....

In 1997 a young lady called Judith Fox joined our operation as an outreach worker. Judith was very active and very conscientious of her work activities. We were very impressed with Judith and offered her the position of Training Manager. Judith put together all of our training contracts with the Employment Service,  ELWA and other organisation to assist members of the community to retrain. Judith's tenacity and dedication shone through and her commitment made us realise that she deserved to be made up to Director of Training; a title that she still has today...

The training arm of the charity has continued to grow and we have been successful in securing many further contracts and we have recently been awarded the Investors in People accolade.

People with all different levels of ability are able to train at Track 2000 and we are proud to advocate an Equal Opportunities Policy.

We have been thoroughly overawed with the results the charity has achieved thorough training and are elated with the success stories, which have evolved since 1997 when Judith joined us...

 

" I could write a book on the ups and downs that we have encountered at Track 2000 since our humble beginnings. When we were setting up, it seemed like we were falling at every fence, but our determination and beliefs in helping others has enabled us to sustain a service to our community. There are no limits to what Track 2000 will introduce next, they have crossed all boundaries, exploring every possible way of enhancing the community with a service. If there are those of you that have not encountered this remarkable charity, then feel free to call in at Resource House on Penarth Road. You will then be aware that a revolution is under way and Track 2000 is having it's say; striving for ways to make society conscious and caring about the environment we live in..."

Terry Parry MBE

Operations Director

 

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 October 2014 14:52
 
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