I remember when I was younger , dreaming of one day driving my own car but my confidence was knocked back in my teenage years and a personal family upset made me want to not learn to drive any more.
I joined the army , signed up for the drivers side of it and hoped it would bring my confidence back into wanting to drive.
Having my freedom and driving around where ever and when ever I wanted to but unfortunately I could not get over the fear .
It scared me , and although accidents do happen , I decided not to chance it . Those percentages seem to grow each month and for me even the smallest chance was terrifying.
I was also told by a fortune teller that I should never sit behind a wheel , especially a blue car as my concentration is something that would get me into trouble .
OK , I know some of you won't believe in that sort of thing, but I did on that occasion due to the fact she told me many things that were true and no one else would have known at the time.
I have to admit , my concentration skills on the road are most certainly no good. Even in the passengers seat , I am looking at anything other than the road.
The road scares me , when I am sat in the passenger seat I get jumpy when vehicles of all shapes and sizes crossing over in front of us at very close range , especially those extra large lorries that seem to appear to get closer to the centre line , my eyes play tricks and I think that they are crossing over even when they are not.
Since years ago, I have feared and no longer have a fascination or need for wanting to get behind the wheel, I do appreciate the fact that it is a great way to have independence, a way of getting to and from work with ease of having to use the public transport which is never on time and having the options to go out and about if needed when I can not get any where while the husband is at work and I am stuck in the village with out ways of getting to the nearest shop.
My husband Drives, there is not one day where he is not sat on the motorway or gallivanting somewhere or other.
He loves cars and loves driving and used the skill to be able to start his own business which driving is used for every day.
He wants to be able to pass that business down to our children when he no longer is able to one day
and we want to be able to give our children the option with out fear to drive later on in life and when I heard that even the younger generation aged 11 to 17 years could get behind the wheel of a real car and spend half hour or an hour learning to build the confidence and the basics of driving a vehicle ,I jumped at the chance to take one of the elder boys for their birthday.
I wanted him to understand that driving is a great skill to have and if he could get the confidence which his dad has whilst driving it can also be fun and rewarding.
Jordan turned 11 years old at the beginning of September which meant that he could now give the Young Drivers experience a go .
So what is Young Drivers ?
Young Driver operates at 33 venues across Great Britain, we live in Durham and our closest Venue was in Newcastle so not far away .
It offers driving lessons to children aged 11-17 years of age .
The lessons take place on private land which means rules are more flexible allowing youngsters to get behind the wheel of a real , duel controlled car with a fully qualified instructor .
The great thing about Young Drivers is that they have also have adaptations for those with a large range of disabilities and there are 4 venues which have hand controls in place for those who need them.
No matter who you are, or whatever your difficulty you have , need that be lack of confidence, deaf, blind, have prosthetic limbs, learning difficulties or neurological disabilities , young drivers cater for everyone who wants to give driving a go.
Young Drivers want to create the safest drivers out there, by teaching over an extended period of time, and in a less pressured environment, whilst basic skills are learned.
For those who won't be able to take their test, it's a chance to experience something new and learn new skills.
You can find out more by visiting Young Drivers Website .
At the beginning of September, Jordan turned 11 and after spending his previous birthdays buying computer games and toys , we decided to do something a little different this time by giving him the opportunity to enjoy something which others may not have had the opportunity to do at his age yet and that was Driving.
To be honest , I did not even know it was possible for an 11 year old to be able to get behind the wheel of a real car and do a driving test , so when I found out they could I was pretty much gob smacked but excited that young children were given the chance to do so and under safe supervision.
We picked Jordan up for his usual weekend visit to stay with us and we passed him gift.
He looked at the little leaflet as if to say huh?
''This is a driving experience , but I am not old enough!''
We explained that he was going to the young drivers on Sunday morning and was going to be able to drive a real car with an instructor sat next to him .
He was so excited , yet nervous but that nervous feeling was the whole point in me wanting to let him have the chance to experience it before his fear kicked in and stopped him from driving all together like it did me.
Sunday morning arrived , Jordan got up all cheerful and hurrying so much out the door to get there , he even forgot to pick up his bag which he needed to take back home that afternoon .
On arriving to the venue half an hour early , Jordans dad took him to the little hut where the instructors awaited people to check in.
They told him he was car 6 and to wait for his name to be called, so we sat and waited for number 6 to arrive back into the depot and have Jordans turn.
Jordan seemed to be getting more nervous yet excited and we were more impatient than he was .
We only sat for 10 minutes until one of the instructors shouted his name.
We thought he would spend half an hour talking about the safety of driving, listening to the instructor tell him the rules and regulations but in fact they sat him straight into the front driving seat of a Skoda car , shoved a booster cushion on the seat under him and had only 2 minutes chat .
It took just 2 minutes for Jordan to turn on the car and he was on his way steering and pushing pedals and within 15 minutes he was also changing gears.
I was so excited for him. We could not believe that our 11 year old son was peering over a steering wheel , hardly see where he was going yet he was driving a car, a REAL CAR! , I am now 30 and not even done that , Yes I was a little bit jealous lol but we are so proud of him being brave enough to do it.
He looked a little dubious at first , but the confidence boosted within only 5 minutes , he was turning corners, reaching appropriate speeds , dodging the cones and even when other cars were coming from the other way in front of him , he stayed calm and done really well .
Jordan was loving it, I could see the smiles on his face, he really thought he was doing something grown up and enjoying it .
The last half hour of him doing his test, you could see how his confidence was showing in his driving, he was starting to speed up a little , take corners more smoothly and we could see he was having fun but in a safe way .
I even snapped a shot of Jordan driving so confidently that the instructor was not even watching him as he caught me snapping a pic .
The experience was a 10 out of 10 for Jordan, he enjoyed it, learned some basic skills of driving and most of all he learned safety in driving .
As Jordan reversed into the space allocated to his car , he got out with a beaming smile , the instructor said he done fantastically and said that Jordan had spoke all the way around about going for his sunday dinner which he was ready for at his nannas.
The instructor was very friendly, he made Jordan feel confident and safe and that to me is what made the experience more worth the while.
Jordan said he wants to go again and we will be booking up another few sessions for him and his other 2 older siblings in the upcoming year .
Each session costs £31.99 for half an hour and £59.95 for an hour, which to me is perfectly reasonable.
Thankyou to the wonderful instructor at Newcastle Young Drivers for making the day fantastic , we will be back.
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