Wyong volunteers driving 120 Countdown success
Uniting’s 120 Countdown might be about pairing learner drivers with mentors from the community, but when you ask volunteer mentor Vicki Quickfall for her favourite experience from the program so far, it’s got nothing to do with the mechanics of driving.
Instead, Vicki describes the experience of one girl who is “not a natural driver. Her anxiety level was holding her back because she’s had no support in her life.”
“From that first driving lesson her self-esteem grew bit by bit. With support, little challenges and encouragement, she is slowly building up her self-belief.”
Uniting’s 120 Countdown program in Wyong partners vulnerable people who face some extra challenges in life, with volunteer mentors like Vicki.
Volunteers just need a full driver’s license and a desire to build a mentor-learner relationship.
Vicki adds: “You just need to get into the learner’s headspace. And you need patience.”
120 Countdown learners often gain freedom and self-confidence along with their license.
“It opens up a whole new world for them; freedom of choice, work, to study, and to just feel a part of mainstream society.”
Vicki seized the opportunity to continue contributing to her community after needing to retire unexpectedly.
Wyong 120 Countdown program coordinator Rachel Hayton said, “the beauty of the Uniting 120 Countdown program is that it helps people learn to drive while bringing together members of the community who would not otherwise meet.”
“We’re always looking for experienced drivers from all walks of life who are willing to help people in their community and provide a ‘safe space’ for learners,” Rachel added.
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