16 July 2012 – Hundreds of young disabled people from all over the UK had the chance to get behind the wheel for the first time at the Get Going Live! event at Donington Park on Saturday 14th July.
The event offered a great opportunity for young people to gain advice on the best car to suit their particular needs, as well as information on adaptations, assessment and finance, finding a suitable instructor and including seemingly simple, but vital, safety information such as how to position your driving seat and seat belt.
Local organisations offering advice included Derby DrivAbility, Derby Wheelblazers, Disability Direct and Leicestershire Centre for Integrated Living. National companies and organisations included Ampstuff, Autoadapt, Autochair, Brig-Ayd Controls, Disabledgear.com, Disabled Photographers’ Society, Etac, Lewis Reed, Motability, Phab, PosAbility Magazine, Ricability, Seat Young Driver, Sirus, Spokz, Unwin Safety Systems, Whizz-Kidz and the event organisers, Mobility Choice and DMUK.
Visitors attended from the local Derby/Notts/Leicestershire area and also from North Wales, West Midlands, Yorkshire, Kent, Surrey, London, and one couple even flew in for the day from Northern Ireland!
As well as the opportunity to drive from a line-up of over 20 different adapted cars with a variety of adaptions, there was much to thrill the aspiring young drivers who ‘had a ball’ between drives on a 7m all-accessible climbing wall, remote control cars, skid car and 4x4 passenger experiences, rallying with Loughborough Car Club and SK Motorsport.
Visitors also had the chance to meet racing driver Aaron Morgan, who became disabled after a motorcross accident at the age of 15 but went on to become the youngest ever disabled person to be awarded a motor sport association National B racing license. Aaron said:”Get Going Live! is a great opportunity for young disabled people to come along to and try out a range of different cars/adaptations that will give them more independence. Driving and racing have given me a huge amount of independence and enjoyment in life so to be given the chance to share my passion for driving with other disabled people is amazing.”
Hannah Booth from Mansfield, Notts said: “I’ve had a brilliant day! The driving was great – loads of choice and information too.” (Insert pic of Hannah)
And Callum Hodgson, from Chesterfield was also impressed. “Absolutely fantastic, invaluable for first time drivers. Where else can you get a chance to try so many cars. I really enjoyed the Astra, something to aspire to!” (Insert pic of Callum).
For anyone who missed Saturday’s event there are two more this year – at the Yorkshire Event Centre, Harrogate on 28 July and TRL, Wokingham on 11 August. You can register for both events at www.getgoingnow.org
The Get Going Live! experience is for young people with disabilities and anyone newly-disabled. If you are young with a disability you can gain a driving licence at 16, a year ahead of those who are not disabled, but many young people find it difficult to know where to begin.