The Youth Driving Program helps young people at The Haven receive the training and support to achieve their driver’s licence. Learner drivers are required to complete 100 hours of supervised driving to be eligible to sit their provisional driving test. Most young people who are experiencing homelessness do not have family support which means they do not have a vehicle to use or a person willing to help them complete 100 hours of supervised driving.
A driver’s licence is a significant enabler for independence and employment. Without it, our young people have yet another barrier towards independent living. In Toowoomba, there are no current programs to support young learner drivers to complete their 100 hours of supervised training that are available free of charge and part of a holistic program aimed at assisting young people to gain independence, self-reliance and move them towards employment and/or educational outcomes.
In 2016, YellowBridge was awarded seed funding in the first round of the Dignity First Grants to start the program. We partnered with Complete Driving School, Toowoomba Toyota and Golden Harvest Service Station who provided discounted lessons, subsidised car and free fuel respectively. We have a team of volunteer mentor drivers who help the participants.
In 2018, Suncorp nominated YellowBridge to be a beneficiary in their Brighter Futures Workplace Giving program. Over the next two years, any time or money that Suncorp staff donate will be matched by the well-known banking and insurance group.
The proceeds will be used to renovate The Stepping Stone Cottage at The Haven and support the Youth Driving Program.