We recently ran a competition where we gave you the chance to nominate your deserving learner drivers to win the cost of their driving test! We know 2020 and 2021 have been tough for everyone, and we wanted to be able to give back to learner drivers who deserve it. We had over 500 amazing entires into this competition, so you can imagine how hard to was to narrow them down to just 5! Your amazing learner drivers are here sharing their stories with you...
Hey, my names Harry and I am a support worker for Severe Autism in Cressing.
I’ve been paying through the nose for taxis to and from work (£11 each way!) and have been unsuccessful in booking a driving test, My brother gave me his old car but because I can’t get a test, i’s not being used I’ve put a SORN on it and it sits outside doing nothing so passing my driving test would mean I have a means of travel to and from work. 2021 has been a tough year as the guys that I support do not understand why they cannot go out, why their favourite places have shut or why their parent’s couldn’t visit them.
My name’s Aimee, I’m a self-taught artist from Bangor, currently studying hairdressing and working part-time as a barista!
The last year has been tough for both me and my family. We had been shielding since the pandemic started, meaning I also stopped working because my dad is very sick. We hadn’t actually left the house until around August last year when restrictions started lifting, and I was able to go back into work, save for my mum's shopping trips and my dad's hospital visits. It’s caused a great amount of anxiety. I was scared of going outside in case I brought something back into the house, even after restrictions were lifted because of how ill my dad is at the moment. I lost touch with friends, who I’ve only recently begun talking to again, and found it super difficult to connect with people after being away from them for so long. Even now I’m struggling with connecting with people, whether it’s strangers or friends. My education also took a hit, resulting in me dropping out of lower sixth and going to SERC instead, since there wasn’t any way I was going to get back into upper sixth. Also, as a result of all this, I haven’t been for a driving lesson for over a year. They’re almost impossible to get, and if it weren’t for the pandemic, I believe I would have been driving fully by now!
Driving means the world to me, even before the pandemic, and even before I turned 17, I always wanted to drive, to have the freedom to go places with friends and not hassle my mum about lifts to places, to be able to nip to the shops if I need, help friends if they need a lift, and be able to do things on my own time. A lot of my friends already have their test so I almost feel left behind by my peers, I want to be able to go out and do things with them in my own car rather than one of theirs.
Driving will be able to help me big time, it means that my mum doesn’t have to get up super early to take me to work or to college, and I can give lifts to my brother in the morning to school for my mum as well, along with being able to do messages for my mum when she’s busy too, It means I have the freedom to go out with friends on short notice or pay them a visit. It also means not having to pay for busses or taxis when my mums unable to give me a lift. It’ll be a huge money saver, especially since the petrol for my car is so cheap and one full tank does me a whole month!
Hi, I’m James and I’m a 17 year old Student from Merseyside.
I’m currently studying Business Studies, Engineering and Creating Media in Sixth Form. 18 months ago, I had an accident whilst playing Rugby I had to spend quite a lot of time in hospital, during which time I had to learn how to walk again. Throughout this I continued with my studies in preparation for my GCSEs (which didn’t go ahead), as well as volunteering at The Hub sewing group making scrubs for the amazing NHS staff who I owe so much.
The fab group of women at The Hub took me under their wing and taught me how to sew! I’m pleased to say that during this time, I did in fact learn to walk again – but I didn’t want to stop there… I’m now learning to drive which is going really well and I’m getting behind the wheel every few days now, running errands with my family and building up my driving confidence. Driving as a whole is such a positive experience for me. Waking up each day knowing I'm one step closer to owning my own car and being able to drive myself wherever I like, whenever I like is amazing. It makes me want to work harder every single day to get there.
My name is Lara, I am 18 from Surrey.
I currently work part-time in a supermarket but in September I will be going to university to study midwifery.
2021 has been a hard year for me as in April my dad unexpectedly passed away, this has changed my whole life completely. Shortly after this I had to sit my a levels which was quite scary as, like others my age, learning was interrupted my Covid-19 so I did not feel prepared but I am glad to have finished school.
To me driving means independence, I don’t live very near my friends and there isn’t much to do in my town, so I can only go out when it’s convenient for my mum as she’s the one who has to drive me. Earlier in the year my dad would take me out to practice my driving every weekend. It’s hard continuing to learn to drive when I can no longer practice with him, and my mum isn’t quite confident enough yet to take me out. I want to pass my test as I know he would be proud.
Being able to drive will help me with my degree, studying midwifery means I have to spend a lot of time on placement in hospital or in the community, if I can drive it will make this commute easier.
Hi! My name’s Tania, I'm aged 23, from Leeds
I’m currently studying medicine and I’m about to start my placement in August this year, and I’m hoping to have passed my driving test for when this happens. I’m wanting to commute from home to placement to save money, so being able to drive to do that is essential as it’s not ideal to rely on public transport only.
Studying Medicine in 2020-2021 in the pandemic has not been easy because of most of the teaching being online and not being able to see many patients face to face due to COVID.
Unfortunately, I’ve had driving tests cancelled due to the pandemic multiple times, not only that but I’ve also failed my driving test 9 times in the past – but I’m still going and won’t give up! I really wanted to pass my driving test so that I could drive to university on the days that I was in for face-to-face learning but instead, I had to pay for accommodation near the university due to not being able to drive, which was financially costly this last year.
Driving has been on my mind for the last 6 years- since I was 17, I started having driving lessons and tests, I am now 23 and I managed to get into medical school, but I still haven't passed my driving test! It makes me feel embarrassed and ashamed because most people my age can drive, and they passed first time whereas for me it has been a struggle and the nerves have got worse after every failed test as there is so much riding on the test now- I don't want to fail again. It would mean the world to me if I passed my driving test, having that independence would be great as I would be able to drive myself and not rely on other people for lifts or public transport. Furthermore, I could drive to placement, which as a medical student and future doctor will be essential.