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Volunteers sought for Cardinia Shire’s L2P Program

Published: 28 March 2019

Kooweerup Regional Health Service (KRHS) is urgently seeking volunteers to mentor young learner drivers in the Cardinia Shire L2P Program.

The L2P program runs seven days a week, operating 8am–9pm and is delivered at no cost to learner drivers and volunteers. Cardinia Shire Council proudly supports this program, which is jointly funded by VicRoads and KRHS.

KRHS Youth Support Worker, Samantha Stuckey said the demand for the program was exceeding capacity and new participants were waiting approximately eight months to access the program due to insufficient community volunteer numbers.

“This program is an essential service for many of our young people who don’t have access to a supervising driver or vehicle, to gain the skills and knowledge they need to become safe and independent drivers. However, we desperately need more volunteer mentor drivers to reduce the waitlist and increase access to the program and its benefits,” Ms Stuckey said.

“The program aims to build driving experience and confidence as the young person completes their 120 hours of driving practice. It helps our young people increase their access to employment opportunities and their ability to get safely from A to B.”

Since commencing in 2010, the program has assisted 175 young people and has expanded its operations to include a second car. The program now operates from Kooweerup and Pakenham with the service available to young people throughout all of Cardinia Shire.

Cardinia Shire Mayor Cr Graeme Moore said the program was a valuable service contributing to community health and wellbeing and the future prospects for young people in Cardinia Shire.

“The L2P Program improves our young people’s potential for social and economic success. It supports them to learn to drive safely, build independence and confidence, increase their employability, and grow their support network,” Cr Moore said.

To prepare them for their role in supervising and guiding new participants through the program, volunteer mentors will be trained and assisted to obtain all the relevant background checks. This includes obtaining a Police History Check, VicRoads Driving History Check, and Working with Children Check, as well as undertaking three hours of online training with the program co-ordinator and a one-day practical driving and assessment program.

Ms Stuckey encouraged people from all backgrounds to apply to become a volunteer mentor.

“Unlike many volunteering opportunities, this program offers volunteers flexibility. Whether retired or working, you can work with your learner drivers to find session times that suit you both.

The benefits of volunteering to be a mentor in this program mean you have nothing to lose and everything to gain! You’ll help young people in your community, gain a sense of achievement that you are giving back to your community, learn new skills, and meet new people.”

To find out more about the program and becoming a volunteer mentor, please contact KRHS Youth Support Worker, Samantha Stuckey on (03) 5997 9687.