Volunteer Mentor

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Becoming a Mentor

Interested in supporting a young person to learn to drive?

You will be supported every step of the way: from induction into the role, briefings on key parts of the role, and ongoing training and support once you get started as a volunteer.

Your role is first and foremost about supporting safe driving: role modeling it, speaking about it and helping a young person practice the driving skills they have learnt through lessons with a professional Driving Instructor.

Part of this role is modelling respectful communication, patience, and clear boundaries. Volunteer Mentors have a strong ability to demonstrate empathy, consistency, reliability and promote safe and stable relationships.

A long-term commitment is a key part of this program. We need volunteer mentors who can work with the same learner driver until that learner driver feels ready to sit for their P’s. This might be 6 months or 12 months, or more, depending on the learner driver.

When the young drivers have reached the testing stage of their journey, they will be confident and safe road users. Driver Training acknowledges that some young people may need extra professional instruction throughout their driving journey. The qualified instructor may deliver up to 5 additional lessons until they feel the learner driver is test ready. This is flexible and based on the needs of the participant.

What will I do as a Mentor?

The Program Coordinator will provide training and guidance on the practical elements of the program, including:

  1. Being a Driver Mentor

    You will be supported to understand:

    The graduated system of licensing in your State (the way young people get to their Ps)

    • The road rules – for you and also for people on their Learner licence
    • Your role: how a supervising driver is different to a professional Driving Instructor
    • How to communicate effectively and give feedback in a constructive fashion
    • How to prepare for a session – The Program Coordinator will provide practical guidance around driver training instruction such as planning a driving route for each lesson, progress checklists (starting and stopping the vehicle, steering techniques, hazards, reverse parking) using the dashcam, what you must do to be personally prepared
  2. How you will be matched with a learner driver? – the Learner Driver will undertake lessons with a professional driving instructor prior to being matched with you. The Coordinator will explain what the initial session in the vehicle will look like and what happens next.

  3. Access to safe vehicles – The Salvation Army will provide the vehicle that will be used to deliver lessons. The Coordinator will explain processes around accessing and operating the vehicle.

  4. Safety onboard – the Coordinator will run through all the steps you will need to ensure the safety of both yourself and the Learner. 

  5. If there’s an accident the Program Coordinator will tell you what to do in case an accident occurs during a driving session: what to do at the scene and who to call.

We acknowledge teaching a young person how to drive is a big responsibility. We want to reassure you that you will be provided with the necessary training and supported throughout your journey with this program.

To find out how you can get involved in Drive for Life, click the icon below: