VOLUNTEER driver mentors are being sought to help young people in the Korumburra area to gain the 120 hours of driving experience necessary to obtain a licence these days.
South Gippsland Shire Council will hold an information evening about the L2P learner driver mentor program on Thursday, February 6 at 7pm at the Korumburra Community Meeting Room (beside the library).
“Council has been running the program across the shire since 2010 and has assisted approximately 30 young people to get their licences,” program coordinator John Ernst said.
“We have trained 22 mentors so far and now need more for the Korumburra area.
“South Gippsland offers many opportunities for young people but limited public transport, so access to a car or even just a driver’s licence is often the difference between gaining employment or a place in an education facility, or not.
“Unfortunately some young people do not have adult family members that are able to assist them in gaining the 120 hours’ experience.
“This is where volunteer driver mentors can be extremely important,” John said.
While many volunteers are retired, younger mentors are also involved and participate for a variety of reasons.
Matt Patterson, 38, for example, has a young family of his own and is passionate about road safety.
“My dad was killed in a road accident when I was 11 years old and for some time after we didn’t have a car, so I understand how difficult it can be for a young person to not have access to a vehicle or someone to mentor them in preparation for their licence.
“It’s also enjoyable to keep in touch with the interests of young people.”
As part of the program, volunteers are provided with free training and access to cars that are used for driver training.
All mentors are carefully matched with young people so that interests may be in common and they are provided with VicRoads approved training.
“Mentoring requires a regular commitment of at least two hours per week and feedback is that it is an extremely rewarding experience,” John said.
“If this is something that might interest you, please come and find out more at the information evening or ring me on directly on 5662 9367.”