Around 30 young people from central and south Taranaki are getting a helping hand to get their driver’s licences thanks to a grant from the Tindall Foundation.

“Getting a driver’s licence improves our young people’s access to education and employment, removes the isolation barriers in a rural community with limited public transport and improves safety on the roads for all of us,” says Central Taranaki Blue Light Ventures Coordinator Saskia Mills.

Results from a 2013 Roadsafe Taranaki Survey of 5,300 secondary school students in Taranaki found that while 2,180 had driven a car on the road, of those 1,200 did NOT have a current driver licence. Of the young people on a learner or restricted licence 34% owned up to breaking at least one condition on their licence.

An added benefit of the driver licence scheme is the benefit of the mentoring aspect of the programme.
“Research shows that youth who participate in mentoring programmes experience a number of positive benefits including better educational achievement, improved social attitudes and reduced negative behaviours in addition to the benefits of having a driver’s licence.”

“This initiative stood out for its potential beyond merely getting a group of young people their driver licences – from increasing people’s employability and confidence to the way it engages other members of the community through the mentoring aspect. It’s a great model and creates a real win-win situation for the community,” says Te Karaka Chair Ken Horner.

The Blue Light Te Ara Tika Driver Licensing programme will be delivered by Central and South Taranaki Blue Light Ventures in partnership with New Zealand Police, local district councils and community volunteers.

Responsibility for allocating funding of around $40,000 per year under the Tindall Foundation’s supporting families and social services programme is overseen by Te Karaka Foundation.

“The Tindall Foundation has a unique system where they use local funding managers and committees to allocate funding under this programme and we’re pleased the Tindall Foundation have recognised our expertise and local knowledge and have entrusted Te Karaka to make recommendations about how this funding is allocated,” says Te Karaka Foundation Chair Ken Horner.

Other recipients of this year’s Tindall Foundation funding in Taranaki include: Pregnancy Help Taranaki Inc., Hawera Budget Advisory Service, Taranaki Toy Library, New Plymouth Positive Ageing Trust, On The House and New Plymouth Emergency Shelter.

For information on funding criteria and how to apply visit tindall.org.nz or email grants@tkf.org.nz. The next round of Tindall Foundation funding closes 31 August.

Additional information:

Te Karaka is Taranaki’s community foundation connecting generous people with the people, projects and charitable causes making a real difference in the Taranaki community. www.tkf.org.nz

The Tindall Foundation is a philanthropic family foundation established in 1994 by Sir Stephen and Lady Margaret Tindall. www.tindall.org.nz

Blue Light is a registered charity that works in partnership with the police to deliver an extensive range of youth programmes and activities.