Eurobodalla Council is urging people interested in driving positive change in the lives of local disadvantaged young people to volunteer for Council’s Ydrive program.
Above: Broulee’s Dylan Brown is the latest learner to pass his driving test thanks to Eurobodalla Council’s Ydrive program.
Ydrive pairs volunteer mentors with young learner drivers who don’t have access to a car or a supervising driver to accumulate the 120 hours of driving experience required to achieve their P-plates.
Learner drivers are also invited to apply for the program, which is being expanded thanks to a $125,000 grant from the NSW Government’s Community Safety Fund program.
The grant enables a further 30 learners to take part and will fund professional driving lessons before the learners start their journey with their mentors, mentor training, new courses on budgeting and car maintenance, the Safer Drivers course, car running costs and a part-time project officer.
So far four participants have earned their Ps since Ydrive started last year, and Ydrive Coordinator Angie McMillan is looking forward to seeing many more.
“The Ydrive program has been so successful and we’re very excited to see it grow,” she said.
“Having a licence is making a real difference to these young people’s lives. They have newfound independence, they’re more able to seek and maintain employment, and for some of the participants it’s also improved the quality of lives of their families who previously didn’t have access to transport.
“Our mentors too have found it so rewarding building such positive relationships with the participants and volunteering their time for something so worthwhile. The first 10 mentors have enjoyed it so much they’re all continuing with the program, but more volunteers are needed.”
Mentors receive training and the opportunity to drive positive change in return for one to two hours of their time per week and a willingness to share their driving knowledge and a bit of patience.
Learners who do not have access to a supervising driver are also invited to apply - places are limited and will be awarded on a needs basis.
For more information or to sign up visit Eurobodalla Council’s website www.esc.nsw.gov.au and search for “Ydrive”. Alternatively contact Ydrive coordinator Angie McMillan on 0417 359 705, 4474 7456 or email email@example.com