Tuesday, 20 June 2023
Remember the feeling of freedom you felt when got your P-plates?
Now teenagers from disadvantaged backgrounds are now being offered that same freedom thanks to a partnership between Capital Region Community Services and the Road Ready Centre called Easy P's.
Teens from the Belconnen Youth Centre will be taught driving skills by qualified and experienced driving teachers free of charge.
Young single mum Aphrodite Seckold-Wren said with her P-plates she'd be able to manage parenting and chase her dreams of becoming an actress.
"I want to take my son to the beach, which i've only done once and that was for like, two seconds," she said.
"With my P's I can most likely go to more auditions and not miss out on time with my son because of how long it takes to travel between each thing," said Ms Seckold-Wren.
Teenager Cody Rousell, also a participant in the program said the opportunity will be life changing.
"I 100% would have struggled to ever get my P's without this, it's so helpful, i'll be able to help my mum and dad with getting my siblings to school," he said.
"There's so many of my friends and people I know who could use help like this and to be able to go play basketball anytime wherever I want would be amazing," said Mr Rousell.
Steve Lake, the CEO of Road Ready Centre said delivering the program is one of the most rewarding parts of his job.
"It's hugely rewarding, we like to consider ourselves as a community service because we want to make a difference to the community and we want to reduce trauma," he said.
"Particularly in a place like Canberra it's all about being able to get to the shops but more importantly to get to work, to get your independence and even access basic services," said Mr Lake.
Youth Support Practitioner Juan Caranguian said the collaboration it's a terrific opportunity for teenagers who'd never normally be given the chance to get their P's.
"Some of these teenagers are single parents, we have one young teenager who is already a fulltime carer for his parents, they'll be much better positioned to help in those roles and succeed in life once they can drive," said Mr Caranguian.
Teenagers from the Belconnen Youth Centre will start their driving lessons this week with the aim of completing the required 100 hours of driving instruction under supervision by the end of the year.