L2P Learner Driver Mentor Program
Helping young people achieve the 120 hours practice required to earn their driver’s licence.
Getting that all important drivers licence is one of those rights of passage most teenagers aspire to when they turn 16. Today’s laws require the budding driver to have 120 hours practice with a licensed supervising driver in the passenger seat. For any family, that takes serious dedication to the task and the ability to have the learner drive at all opportunities. Even then, it’s not easy to rack up those hours.
So what happens for the young person who can’t afford driving lessons and doesn’t have access to a car and driver to allow the hours of practice? That’s where some amazing volunteers come in.
Lead On Ballarat has a team of volunteer mentors who provide supervision to disadvantaged young people to help them gain those all-important 120 hours. The time these volunteers spend not only helps the young person practically, but also provides a positive role model for them in a relaxed and caring atmosphere.The funding we provide for this program is generated from fundraising activities & general donations.
Article appearing in the Volunteering Ballarat Courier Advertisement on June 6th
One hour a week to help a young learner to achieve getting their probationary licence isn’t much to ask. Chris Hutton certainly didn’t think so when he signed up to be a volunteer mentor for the Lead On Ballarat’s L2P learner driver mentor program in late 2009. “I wanted to give back to the community and the commitment was only one hour a week to help make a big difference in a young person’s life,” Chris said.
Julian Veltheer, Chris’s mentee, was living independently and had no one to take him for the needed 120 hours of compulsory driving experience to obtain his probationary licence. He was referred to the program by BEST employment and was looking forward to getting in the car to get his licence and becoming self-reliant. “I was on the waiting list for seven months before I met Chris; I just wanted to get my P’s,” Julian recalls.
The pair were matched after going through the necessary training and checks and hit it off immediately “Chris is a great mentor, he’s easy to get along with, I think we were a great match!” said Julian.
In the beginning the pair started at Victoria Park just to see what Julian’s driving skills were like and three years later the many hours practice in the car has paid off.
“It was great to see Julian grow over the duration of the program, the whole process has been very rewarding,” Chris said. “I have recommended being a mentor to many of my co-workers, I think it’s a fantastic program!”
The L2P program has helped many disadvantaged young people to obtain their licenses, opening up many more career and educational opportunities for these disadvantaged youth. It has also been a great way for volunteers in the community to connect with youth, teach them lifelong skills, and build friendships that will carry on even years after they have graduated from the program.
This organisation has received funding from United Way Ballarat for the following years: