Friday, 11 March 2011

Young Drivers Challenge - Driving without a License

Children between the ages of 11 and 17 years are being invited to get behind the wheel of a car in aid of a local children’s hospice appeal.  Grace House North East Children’s Hospice Appeal (registered charity number 1100682) has teamed up with Young Driver, Northumberland Fire & Rescue Service and NE Sport to give youngsters an exclusive opportunity.

The event, sponsored by Covance and supported by IHCOS (Independent Hackney Drivers of Sunderland)) will take place on the 9th & 10th April 2011 at Albemarle Barracks, near Heddon-on-the-Wall.

The 2-hour session, which is only £25, will include driving a dual-controlled Seat Ibiza car with a fully qualified, government approved instructor, assist Northumberland Fire & Rescue Service in a demonstration of how they attend the scene of a road traffic accident and how they remove the roof of a vehicle.

Taking part in the Young Drivers Challenge is Oxclose Community School pupils Matthew Hawkes 12 and Morgan Bell 11, Matthews mum Joanne Hawkes said: “It was Matthews 12th birthday last Thursday and I thought what a wonderful opportunity to do something really special for him and sign him up for the Young Drivers Challenge.  Matthew is really excited to be taking part and thinks it’s ‘awesome’ plus he will be supporting Grace House at the same time.”

Karen Maclennan, regional fundraiser said: “The Young Drivers Challenge is something different, really exciting and lots of fun but what is really important is that it’s sending out an important message of safety behind the wheel and the dangers of taking risks. 

Karen added: “They will also have the chance to try on a pair of ‘beer goggles’ which are normally used in police training to show how vision and judgment can be impaired from drink driving. “

NE Sport who are based in Sunderland but provide high quality coaching in schools and communities throughout the North East will also be providing team building on the day.

Natalie Wilson, Marketing Manager for Pulman SEAT at Southwick, Sunderland said: Driver safety is crucial and I think this scheme in particular allows children before they learn to drive to understand just how important driving safely is. At Pulman SEAT our motto is to deliver a fantastic customer experience, part of this is advising and ensuring that our customers receive all the facts whether when buying a new car or servicing their car. It’s all about communication, which is way this scheme in particular really can make a difference.

The Young Drivers Challenge is taking place on the same weekend as the Driving Challenge, which is open to everyone over the age of 17 years-old with a full UK Driving License.  For only £35 you will choose to drive a number of vehicles including fire engines, police cars (at high speed if wanted), Arriva buses, articulated lorries, cranes etc. and Northumbria Police have confirmed that they will again be providing 2 skid cars which were very, very popular last year.

Anyone who would like to register or would like more information should contact the appeal office on 0191 516 6302, email or visit

Contact Details:

Karen Maclennan, regional fundraiser - 0191 516 6302, 07956 566269

Grace House North East Children’s Hospice Appeal is currently building the first stand-along dedicated children’s hospice for children and young people and their families from the North East region in Southwick, Sunderland.

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