Our Driving Ahead scheme is a package of 30 hours of free driving lessons, plus the driving test, for young people aged 17-25 leaving the care of the London borough of Barnet.

Being able to drive can be a game changer for a vulnerable young person, boosting their self esteem, employment options and reducing social isolation. It also instils a sense of self worth. The fact a young person can learn to drive helps  them to think they can succeed in other areas of life too.

Since the scheme’s launch in 2019, we’ve supported 13 young people to learn to drive. Five have passed their test, four failed (two are currently retaking), three are studying for their theory test and three more have recently joined. Of the five who passed, four are using their licences in their line of work, as a plumber, mechanic, mobile hairdresser and delivery driver.

“I studied plumbing at college, but having my licence helped me get a job afterwards,” says Mahmoud. “Now I’ve got this job I just want to learn as much as possible and eventually I’d like to be self-employed. I feel hopeful about the future.”

“I didn’t pass my test first time, but I’m not bothered – not everyone passes first time and I’ve rescheduled it for March 2022,” says Rebecca. “Learning to drive has been good for me in other ways. It’s made me feel more responsible and grown up, as well as helped me to focus and be in the moment. It’s also made me say to myself on a few occasions ‘Rebecca, if you can parallel reverse park you can do the dishes!’”   

To apply to Driving Ahead, participants must have been in the care of the London Borough of Barnet,  aged 17-25 and to have passed their theory test. Contact suzy.barber@liveunlimited.org.uk for an application form.

 

 

 

“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.”
Georges Yombe

“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”
Emma Harris

How it works

Our scheme is run by Live Unlimited with driving lessons delivered through AA and BSM driving schools.  

The scheme works by matching the young person aged 17-25 with an experienced driving instructor who will support them to take their practical test.

Learning to drive is a big responsibility and we expect the young people to have passed their theory test as a sign of their commitment.

 

Who can apply?

Looked after children and care leavers aged 17 – 25, with London Borough of Barnet as their corporate parent.

How to apply?

The number of applicants on the Driving Ahead scheme are 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.

To apply to Driving Ahead, participants need to have been in the care of the London Borough of Barnet,  aged 17-25 and to have passed their theory test. Contact suzy.barber@liveunlimited.org.uk for an application form.

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.

With thanks to our supporters including the AA Charitable Trust.