Peter has always wanted to be able to drive. In the past he has driven a petrol-powered go-cart on his own, but he dreamed of getting behind the wheel of a real car. It was something he talked about with his support staff at our Planning Live event, and we supported him to put it into his My Plan book.
Peter’s team looked into accessible driving experiences and found just the thing at the nearby Brent Cross Shopping centre. On selected weekends the top floor of the car park is used for driving lessons with experienced instructors. The centre gives a realistic experience of what on-road driving is like, with a two-way traffic system, road junctions and roundabouts.
Peter’s key worker talked in depth with the company providing the lessons to make sure that they fully understood Peter’s needs, before booking a two-hour session in an automatic Vauxhall Corsa with dual controls.
On the day of the lesson, Peter was understandably a little nervous, and wasn’t sure if he wanted to do the lesson. But his support team gave him lots of reassurance, and explained that nobody would expect him to be able to drive straight away. Peter was relieved that he would not be on a main road, and that he would have an instructor to help him as well as a member of staff in the back seat. He decided to go ahead.
He needn’t have worried: once he got behind the wheel of the car and had some instructions from the teacher he shot off in the style of Jenson Button! Once or twice he muddled the indicator and the wipers but then who doesn’t have that problem when driving an unfamiliar car?
He was very impressed with the car’s ‘park assist’ feature too – meaning it can pretty much park itself. He thoroughly enjoyed his first lesson and would love to do more, something we will support him to do.
Driving the car gave Peter a real sense of pride. Well done Peter for overcoming your nerves and achieving your ambition!