By Mick Jensen
Ashburton’s Community Driver Mentor Programme (CDMP) has been officially launched.
Run through the Salvation Army’s South Island Regional Driver Hub, the programme is intended to help young adult drivers and others get their restricted and full licences.
The CDMP aims to help drivers move from learners to restricted licences and then from restricted to full licences.
Ashburton driver programme co-ordinator Heather Daly said eight mentors had already put up their hands to help deliver the supervised driving experience.
They included a local police officer, truck driver and farmer. Most were in the 30-50 age bracket and one was retired.
Mrs Daly said learners needed basic driving skills and should know the road code, and 11 had already signed up.
Some had been referred by support agencies like the MSD, He Waka Tapu and the Salvation Army.
“Ideally we would like to match 20 drivers with 20 mentors with each new programme.”
Mrs Daly said learners and mentors would attend separate workshops at the beginning of each programme.
Mentors would be upskilled and learners would have the programme and its expectations explained to them.
Mrs Daly will liaise with the Ministry of Social Development, employment agencies and businesses to look for possible employment opportunities for graduating drivers.
“This programme is about filling the gaps for disadvantaged people and not taking business away from other providers.”
Funding for the programme is provided through the Provincial Growth Fund and is for three years.