Big Learner Relay for Children in Need
Hampshire driving instructor Louise Walsh is the inspiration behind 'The Big Learner Relay for Children in Need' planned for November this year. This 14 day event, now in its second year, features driving instructors and pupils across the country all getting together to raise money for charity.
The idea is to relay a top box, (the kind that driving instructors have on the roof of their cars), from one driving lesson to another around England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
With many months of planning the 2,800 mile route is set and driving instructors are preparing to take part. Each instructor will come up with ways to raise funds in whichever way works for them, their pupils and the businesses.
Some are getting together and are going to do something as a local group, some are working with local driving instructor associations, and some are just doing things within their franchises or on their own.
Ideas so far include sponsored lessons, fancy dress lessons, PJs for Pudsey and car washes. But by far the biggest fundraiser is 'sponsor a spot'.
Pupils are donating money to sign a coloured spot and stick it on their instructor’s car.
A selection of driving instructors is involved on a more committed level by being lead cars. This is to ensure that every leg of the relay has a confirmed instructor and pupil in place to carry the top box to ensure the relay runs without a break in the chain. The lead cars demonstrate the diversity in this profession;
independent schools, franchises both national and local, Instructor trainers, instructors teaching in diesel, petrol and electric cars and instructors who specialise in teaching people with disabilities.
Instructors in every part of the country are planning on joining the relay and convoying behind the top box car.
Not wanting to miss out on any of the fun, Louise is travelling the whole of the UK route in the back of each lead car’s lesson.
She comments: "I am so looking forward to meeting the hundreds of participating instructors, taking photos, cheering the convoy on, updating the live feeds, communicating with the media and wearing my Big Learner Relay T shirt with pride as we travel around the country."
The relay starts in Northern Ireland on Monday 26th October then crosses the water and continues its convoy on Friday 30th October, convoying around the UK finishing in Swindon on the 13th November which is the Children in Need Appeal Day 2015
14 days, 2800 miles, 180 lead driving lessons and many thousands of instructors and pupils joining the convoy!
Last year’s total stood at over £65,000 and this year promises to be another great success.
Webmaster's note - For obvious reasons the timing could be a little flexible!
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