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Anchorage Car Valleting

Start Date


End Date



Salford, Greater Manchester, UK

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5. FURTHER & HIGHER, EMPLOYMENT & ENTREPRENERSHIP - skills training, internships and apprenticeships

“Our purpose is not to constrain individual opportunity and prosperity in the interests of society as a whole. On the contrary, it is to use the power of society acting together to enable prosperity to spread, not just to a few but to all”
Tony Blair, former UK Prime Minister

Four disaffected youths from the Salford area of Manchester, being trained through the Youthwise programme, have established a Car Valeting scheme in Salford Quays. As part of the Youth Charter’s strategy to provide vocation training and employment opportunities as well as address the joy riding and
car crime in the Greater Manchester area, an innovative social enterprise was established in response to the dialogue and consultation with young people currently identified in the Youth Charter programme. As a result of this the Anchorage Car Valet was established with the support of AMEC Developments, Ford Quick dealership of Trafford and Salford City Council in May 1997. This unique collaboration provided employment, training and a unique model that went on to be replicated with other car wash enterprises springing up all over Manchester.

The longer term is to develop the youth into “self-social enterprises” that can be seconded throughout the UK to develop identical programmes. The current social enterprise aims are to re-invest any profit back into other planned social programmes within the immediate community.

Social Impact

Of the six original young people employed and two adults, the intergenerational challenges were considerable. Punctuality and traditional work practices were replaced by a co-operative approach with significant progress made in all aspects of each individual’s personal and social development. At one stage up to seven young people worked for no wages for a period of three weeks in order to maintain and save the enterprise. This was achieved without senior management involvement.

Lessons Learned

The Anchorage Car Valet Company was a massive challenge with senior management practices of ‘do as I say’ at odds with a youth culture and employment ethos that required a ‘do as I do’ approach. Confidence, trust and respect were lost within the day-to-day relationship between the young cohorts and the senior management. This saw the enterprise sadly brought to a close with a number of social and economic consequences that have now been resolved. Our experience has taught us that all enterprises of economic activity should be investment driven as opposed to charitably sustained.


Entrepreneurial activity has yet to be fully exploited within the area of re-engaging young people lost to traditional training and employment. The street entrepreneur who sells his product markets, promotes, develops customer relationships, financial forecasting and debt collection services as a portable vendor providing an incredible resource of entrepreneurial flair, which is yet to be realised. This area of activity requires specific focus of both public and private sector agencies to counter the ‘bling’ dependency of young people who can earn hundreds if not thousands of pounds per day as opposed to a daily wage. Entrepreneurial activity is the only way to provide economic activity to meet the economic and status aspirations of those working ‘below the line’.

What we Inspired

This social enterprise saw car wash companies established all over the City of Manchester. Up to ten small businesses of this kind were opened employing young people. A franchise model was also developed with replicable potential as a social training, vocation and employment programme and sustainable economic and viable social enterprise.


Youth Charter, Salford City Council, Amec Developments Limited, Ford Quick’s Dealership Trafford

Activity Numbers

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Young People


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Social Coaches and Social Professionals


Activity Report

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Activity Videos


Activity Gallery

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