What does being a refugee driving mentor involve?

Red Cross refugee driving mentors help former refugees who have their learner licence learn to drive and prepare to sit their restricted licence test. This helps people from refugee backgrounds gain more independence, access employment and education opportunities and connect more easily with their community.

Being a driving mentor involves getting training about what’s required, then we meet a student and help them develop the required skills so they can get their licence.

What inspired you to volunteer?

It seemed like a really good opportunity to volunteer in the community and help new people in our community make progress. It’s a great role that I think anyone can take on if they have skills in mentoring and driving.

What do you know now that you didn’t when you started volunteering?

I know that my driving has improved. That is something that you get from this, you notice your own driving and I’ve benefited from the experts that have been guiding us mentors and mentees. I’ve also learned a lot about the challenges for refugee families as they get themselves equipped for life in New Zealand society. Being able to drive and get their licence through a programme like Red Cross’ refugee driving mentors is extremely useful.

What’s your favourite part about being a Red Cross volunteer?

Seeing people succeeding is always going to be top of the list. Watching people as they steadily improve through the programme and then get their licence is always the ultimate payout!