2020 Grant winner Linda Dalton
Linda Dalton (1979) is the founding member of the Two Way Street project that supports under privileged learner drivers from the local rural community of Bellingen to complete the required 120 hours of supervised driving required to obtain a driving licence. Now, I’ve heard many parents moan about the onus of supervising their teens on this learning to drive journey, but the reality of the Sydney North Shore experience is that parents are able to supervise or pay for a professional driving instructor and even without a licence, there is plenty of public transport available.
However, in the Bellingen area, there is virtually no public transport so the ability to drive means that a person can work, study, visit friends and properly care for their family. The teens that Two Way Street assists are often from single parent or refugee families that simply do not have sufficient resources and/or the ability to teach their children to drive.
What we really loved about this grassroots project is that not only does the teen benefit by getting a drivers licence, they have access to a positive adult influence and sounding board; the whole family gains freedom and independence; the volunteer mentor (often retirees moved from the city and feeling lonely) gain meaningful engagement with others; a genuine community spirit is fostered through these connections as friendships develop and the teens give back to the community with gardening or odd jobs as 'payment' for their driving lessons.
Want to know more about this project?
You can find out more about Two Way Street and ways you can help here.
You can read an article originally published in the Bellingen Shire Courier-Sun here.