Posted By Anna Watson
Car(e) for the Community Driving School

The Puketapapa Community Driving School see driver licences as an important passport to living in our current world. And when one stops to think about it, PCDS is absolutely right. A licence provides independence and a mode family transportation; it is a requirement for many jobs and can be a source of pride. We chat to the team behind PCDS to learn why they have launched a campaign to crowdfund for a second practice car.

Why do you think this campaign is important?

Almost half of New Zealanders sitting restricted driver licences are failing, with a lack of practice behind the wheel being blamed. Many people – especially those for whom English is not their first language – struggle to pass the theory and practical tests. We know that many learner drivers get stuck with their learner licence for many years because of a lack of mentors, a practice car and/or the means to pay for driving lessons.

So, after two years of tedious preparations in setting up our very own driving school, we successfully launched Puketapapa Community Driving School in December 2017 to make driver training more affordable and accessible to our communities.

To date, 35 learners started practical driving lessons. We have over 80 learner drivers on our waitlist, including almost 40 former refugees. But having only one practice car means that learners have to wait longer for available mentor and car at their preferred day and time. This campaign will help us to fund the purchase of a second practice car. 

What motivated you to reach out to your crowd?

We appeal to our crowd to contribute from $5 towards our goal of getting another practice car so we can help more learners especially former refugees and young people who are at risk of getting caught by police when they drive with learner licence without a supervisor.  

One Somali mother who failed her restricted test five times expressed, “In Africa we don’t have to drive, but here in NZ you really have to especially if you have children.” A Burmese father, who failed his restricted test twice, is grateful to be able to practice and prepare better for his upcoming test with the help of PCDS.

The NZTA recommends at least 120 hours of practical driving experience for a learner driver to be prepared to sit restricted test. Getting another car will enable us to do more bookings and help more learners pass their restricted and full licence tests. We believe our community can thrive together, if we just help each other out through initiatives like PCDS. 

What do you have planned for the rest of the campaign – anything for us to look forward to?

On Monday 5 February we will mark the two month anniversary of the launch of PCDS. Pledgers who donate $50 and above and share our campaign with the hashtag #DrivingYourSuccess can take up the opportunity of one free driving lesson. This is a great opportunity to get to know us and the work we are doing – with the support of you, our crowd! 

Anything else you would like to shout out to your crowd?

Book. Volunteer. Donate!

Please help spread the word about our campaign and keep telling friends that by booking through PCDS, not only do they gain expert advice and support, but will also support young people, new migrants, ethnic women and resettled communities (former refugees) gain their driver licence. 100% of our profits will be used to subsidise their learner driver training and licensing.

If you are really interested, we would love you to colunteer to help a young person, new migrant or former refugee learn to drive. With the help of volunteer driver mentors we are able to offer subsidised training to young people, new migrants, ethnic women and resettled communities (former refugees).  

Right now though, PCDS needs all the help we can get to support those who find it the hardest to gain their drivers licence. If you can give up one fancy coffee or lunch, and instead pledge $5 or more to our campaign, we promise you will have a happy heart in the knowledge that you are helping someone gain a very important skill that will make a huge difference to their daily life. 

To help more people like Hakim and Ramzan Bibi (pic, above) to go through the Puketapapa Community Driving School, donate to their page here

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