Life changing Kent Charity fights for survival

A Kent charity that helps unemployed people get their driving license is calling out for support after their funding was refused.

51-year-old John Nicholson is a driving instructor in Kent that provides driving lessons for unemployed or low waged people, his plea for funding from a national charity has just been rejected and he in now applying for funding from the government.

A national funding body has rejected Nicholson’s request for some funding in order to help with his Community Driving School.

The charity has said they rejected the funding because “there are significant cost implications for young people driving a car, such as additional costs including vehicle purchase, insurance, tax and MOT…)”.

Nicholson’s response to this was, “Not only is a driving licence an opportunity to apply for better paid jobs to afford a car, there are plenty of positions that provide a car for people but they need a driving licence in order to break that cycle of poverty.”

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The Community Driving School is fighting for survival after their funding was refused

Nicholson said that “the scheme that I run has four people that are funded through Kent County Council and five through sponsorship in exchange for community work. As well as driving lessons I offer CV building workshops.

“I dont think being able to afford a car after passing your test is the most important part of learning to drive, I think a lot of it is about self respect. You never know someone’s back story, I didn’t have the best upbringing with an alcoholic father and a single mother on benefits, I know that if a community programme like this reached out to me it would have been a big help.”

Ryan Morley, one of John’s current students, explains how the community driving school has allowed him to make changes in his life: “Getting my driving license will change my life, I’m currently in a position where I didn’t think I would be ever able to afford this  due to my circumstances.

“Not living at home and working makes it very difficult to save and afford the lessons. If it wasn’t for the school I wouldn’t be here, having passed my theory and about to take my practical test.”

To find out more about the community driving school, take a look here.

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