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Ellie Newton with driving mentor Garry Chislett

Volunteer supervisor drivers needed

News Article Date: 
Thursday, 22 October 2015

Are you looking for a volunteering role with flexible hours, and that makes a difference in the lives of young people?

The L2P Learner Driver Program is currently looking for experienced drivers to support young Warrnambool and Moyne residents currently experiencing hardship achieve their probationary driver’s licence.

A vehicle and all training is provided for mentors.

Garry Chislett has been a mentor driver since 2011, clocking up almost 400 hours in the passenger seat and helping more than 10 young drivers get their licence.

“I had a bit of spare time after retiring. I hadn’t volunteered much before, and I decided that it was about time that I did,” Mr Chislett said.

“I live on a main road and I sometimes here young people using it like a race track. I thought that if I can help even one kid to become a sensible driver, then it would help make roads safer for everyone.

“There’s a real sense of satisfaction when someone you’ve been training sends you a text letting you know they’ve gotten their licence.

“Spending so much time with them, you get to understand just how important getting their licence is to them, whether it’s to get a job, to go to uni or for their independence.”

Garry’s current protégé, 18-year-old Ellie Newton, recently passed her Hazard Perception Test and is gearing up for her driving test in the next few weeks.

She said that without the help of Garry and the L2P program, she would have no way of attaining her 120 hours of driving practice.

“My only family member in Warrnambool is my sister, and she only has her Ls too,” Ms Newton said.

“I saw there was a program that could help me get my licence and a thought, ‘why not?’

“Garry is pretty cool. He is really supportive is always positive, never negative.

“Getting my licence will help me get mobile and further my life and career opportunities.”

The local program targets learner drivers from Warrnambool or Moyne, under 21 years of age, who have a learner permit but do not have access to a supervising driver and/or a vehicle due to financial or family circumstances.

The program has been very effective with young learners and their mentors collectively spending 2500 hours on the road each year.

One hundred and twenty learners have gained their license through the program since 2010, with 18 achieved already in 2015.

The next training for prospective mentors will be held over the weekend of November 7 and 8.

For more information contact L2P Program Coordinator Deon Cameron on dcameron [at] warrnambool [dot] vic [dot] gov [dot] au or 5559 4413.

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