Mike Matthews MBE donates North East Automotive Alliance Award win to local schools

Mike Matthews MBE, Managing Director of Stockton based-injection moulding company Nifco UK, was awarded the Outstanding Contribution Award at the inaugural North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA) Awards, and received £2000 to donate to a local school of his choice to support an automotive or STEM related project.

Egglescliffe School and Outwood Academy Bishopsgarth were the lucky recipients of Nifco’s award, which was sponsored by Resource Management Solutions NE (RMS). Each school benefits from £1000 to spend on an automotive or STEM related project.

Mike Matthews said, “I’m honoured and humbled to have been commended for my successes in the automotive industry, and the fact that my prize meant I was able to support STEM projects in two of our local secondary schools is an added bonus.

“Skills development and educational engagement are personal priorities and more businesses need to get behind this. It is my hope that through the donation of £1000 to each school, we may be able to ignite an interest in someone who will complete the process and secure an engineering career in later life – and Nifco’s door is always open for work experience placements.”

John Short, Nifco’s operations director, representing Mike Matthews, Paul Butler, NEAA Chief Executive Officer and Matthew Telling, RMS Operations Manager visited both schools. Alongside pupils, they took part in workshops delivered by the Nissan Skills Foundation before presenting the £1000 cheques to Mr White, Headteacher, Egglescliffe School and Mr Merifield, Principal, Outwood Academy Bishopsgarth.

Mr White, headteacher of Egglescliffe School said: “We are delighted to receive this generous gift from Mr Matthews to further develop STEM projects across the science and technology departments.

“The students thoroughly enjoyed the learning experience the NISSAN team offered and they were able to work as a team, problem solve and apply the principles of science. Learning through STEM projects offers a unique opportunity to apply the theory as well as developing a love for STEM.”

Mr Merifield, principal of Outwood Academy Bishopsgarth said: “I am delighted that we had the opportunity to be involved in this project and am very grateful to Mike Matthews for his generous donation. The young people had a brilliant morning and it has sparked their interest in STEM subjects and we have been inundated with questions about apprenticeships.”

The North East Automotive Alliance, who hosted the awards earlier this year, support the economic sustainable growth and competitiveness of the automotive sector in the North East of England.

Paul Butler, CEO of the NEAA added: “We have a globally competitive automotive sector here in the region and the awards provided a fantastic opportunity to showcase automotive excellence here in the North East of England, and it was no surprise that Mike came away as the Outstanding Contribution winner from the evening. Thanks to the support of our sponsors our winners have been able to donate over £18,000 to support the sectors skills activities; recognising our future talent and further strengthening our links to education.”

Matthew Telling, operations manager, Resource Management Solutions NE, which sponsored the Outstanding Contribution award said: “Mike Matthews richly deserved the award for his outstanding contribution to the automotive industry. RMS is thrilled to be closely associated with the NEAA, especially because we enjoy such a strong working relationship with so many of its members.

“It is a great pleasure to be able to contribute to the development of STEM in the North East education sector. The future success of the automotive industry is reliant upon developing skills and talent, so RMS will always do what we can to support this development.

“It was a pleasure to be in attendance at the Nissan Skills workshops. The students really engaged in the activities, communicated brilliantly in teams and demonstrated outstanding teamwork. These are key skills for children to nurture, and I was extremely proud to be able to represent RMS for this hugely worthwhile initiative.”