We opened the gates of the Bantry Driving Academy on 3rd February 2010, but the work towards that point had begun years earlier when I saw my eldest daughter driving nervously even after she’d passed her test. She was so slow, she could have caused an accident.
Watching her prompted me to go on to train as a driving instructor, and, straight away, I set about researching the most effective ways of teaching young people to drive. I soon realised that, when drivers start learning young, everyone on the road is safer. I decided to harness new technology too, to make learning to drive fun and effective for young drivers.
With the help of the West Cork Development Partnership and its farm conversion scheme, I set out — with my children — to build up the Bantry Driving Academy and to make it a leading provider of driver education. It’s been a long road as you’ll find out if you catch up with our story on Nationwide (11 minutes in), but I’m so proud of what the family has achieved here. All of us play some role in making the BDA run smoothly, and our first year in business has been amazing.
We’ve given lessons to older people who had given up hope of ever learning to drive; and we love working with CoAction and the National Learning Network to give more young people the exciting chance to learn to drive.
The development of our cycling programme has been another highlight.
Thanks to everyone for all the fantastic support we’ve had up to this point.
Let’s hope every year is as exciting for the BDA as this one!