Driving Ahead is our driving lessons scheme, in which we provide 30 driving lessons and the driving test to young care leavers aged 18-25 in the Borough of Barnet.
Learning to drive is a life skill that can help to significantly boost confidence, improve employability, reduce social isolation and lead to further opportunities. However, learning to drive can be out of reach for many looked after children and care leavers due to the high costs of driving lessons.
Since our scheme launched in 2019, we have been supporting 10 young people in learning to drive. Of those, 3 have passed their test first time, and are using their driving licences in their jobs as a mobile hairdresser, mechanic and driver.
Of our other learners, one is currently retaking their test, and the remaining six are still having driving lessons. We also have another batch of three learners lined up and raring to get behind the wheel as soon as they have passed their theory tests!
“The Driving Ahead scheme has made me feel more independent. It has also helped me move towards one of my biggest goals which is to open up a customizing garage. Now I have the opportunity to do a driving job, too, as a second option. It has opened a lot of doors for me.”
“My experience of the Driving Ahead Scheme was incredibly amazing. I was so grateful to be accepted onto it. It gave me a lot of freedom for my future”
How it works
Driving Ahead was launched in partnership with the AA, in March 2019, to give vulnerable young people leaving care the opportunity to learn to drive. It can be a game changer for some young people.
According to the DVSA, on average it takes 45 hours of lessons to learn with an additional 22 hours of practising. However, our beneficiaries don’t get the opportunity to practise because they have no family car to use. In spite of that, we’ve had a 100% success rate of young people on our scheme passing their test first time, on just 30 hours of lessons. We’re so proud.
Our Driving Ahead scheme is available to care leavers in the borough of Barnet only and are made on behalf of the young person by their Personal Advisor.
Who can apply?
Looked after children and care leavers up to the age of 25, with London Borough of Barnet as their corporate parent.
How to apply?
The number of applicants on the Driving Ahead scheme are very limited. To meet our eligibility criteria you must be a Barnet looked after child or care leaver and be able to show how learning to drive will help you. We operate a referral scheme working with our colleagues in Barnet’s leaving care team, called Onwards and Upwards. If you are interested in applying for the scheme please speak to your social worker or personal adviser first and contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learning to drive is expensive, with the average learner costing approximately £950.
if you’d like to make a huge difference to the life and job chances of a young person.