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Driving for Care Leavers AA Charitable Trust for Road Safety and the Environment (Charity no. 1125119)

The AA Trust helps teenagers leaving care to learn to drive. Following last year’s pilot, twelve pupils from Bristol, Medway, Newcastle, and Westminster are taking part in the second programme. To date three have passed their tests and others are almost ready to take theirs.

The driving lessons give the care leavers a form of independence that many in such circumstances would struggle to achieve. One of the pupils who has passed his test has an apprenticeship with a car manufacturer and being able to drive will help him immensely to make the most of this opportunity. We are now looking at ways of providing assistance in preparing for the theory test. The scheme is supported by the Children’s Commissioner, Anne Longfield OBE and monitored by Bristol University. As well as delivering national support to those that need our help, we also make sure we support local communities and initiatives. Some highlights from this year include:

Patrol visits AA’s biggest fan Allen Childs made a ‘home start’ visit to the AA’s biggest fan, eight-year-old Alfie, in October. The visit was arranged when Alfie’s mother made contact to say that her son, who has autism, was desperate to help an AA patrol on a job.

Bangers for Ben The AA provided breakdown support and European Breakdown Cover for the participants in the annual charity rally. Ben is the automotive industry’s charity which partners with the industry to provide support for life to its people and their families. AA patrols ensured that the bangers cleared the Alps and reached the finish line intact with the additional benefit that two of our team took part in the event which raised £65,000 for the charity.

Children’s magical taxi tour The AA supported the London cabbies ‘Children’s Magical Taxi Tour’ trip from London to Disneyland Paris in September. They were part of a three-mile long convoy of London taxi cabs, ambulance staff and French police escorts all helping to give terminally ill children a magical weekend.The children were able to explore the AA recovery truck before setting off for their weekend at Disneyland.

Newcastle college Members of our motoring and home insurance team at Newcastle, with the important addition of Patrol Man Pete, took 22 disabled young adults from Newcastle College on a Treasure Trail in South Shields. AA volunteers then visited the college the following day and gave AA goody bags to its special needs department. We have encouraged the relationship to continue through the regular sale of fresh fruit and vegetables by the students to our Newcastle staff.