Road Safety Officer Alison Balding and Senior Socioeconomic Planner (Community) David Baker.
Singleton's DRIVE program is a huge success and now it's been recognised at the Alcohol and Drug Foundation's Community Drug ACtion Team awards.
The program is something the Singleton Community Drug Action Team put together with Singleton Council, the PCYC and the Salvation Army - the program trains driving mentors to teach young people to drive and get their hours up which they wouldn't otherwise be able to do on their own.
Deborah McDonald, Council’s Acting Director Organisation and Community Capacity, said current supervisors had reported how rewarding it was to be part of the program and to see young people gain the freedom that came with having their own transport.
“The Partnership Project Award is due recognition for all of the CDAT members who have been involved in DRIVE, a truly life-changing program for young people who for one reason or another don’t have access to a car or someone who can help them learn to drive,” Deborah McDonald said.
“The young people involved in the program come from a range of backgrounds, from school students whose parents just don’t have the means or the time to help them gain the hours they need to people who for whatever reason haven’t had the opportunity to go for their provisional licence.”
Council’s Road Safety Officer delivers the Supervising Learner Drivers Workshop for supervisors, while students have opportunities for further training including lessons with an instructor, a government-funded “keys2Drive” lesson alongside their mentor and Safer Driver courses.
Deborah McDonald said the collaborative program was the direct result of tangible action to address transport issues in Singleton.
“We know that transport is an issue for young people in Singleton, whether it’s public transport services or being able to drive themselves,” she said.
“The DRIVE program is a practical way that the community can work together to support young people aged between 16 and 25 to get the practical experience they need to get a licence."
“Best of all, it opens up a world of opportunities for people who can then apply for jobs that require a licence, or take advantage of so many more options because of the freedom that comes with transport.”
If you're interested in becoming a volunteer supervisor, head to: www.singleton.nsw.gov.au/728
Image credit: Singleton Council