Driving in our own vehicle is a liberating experience. Most of us learn how to drive early on in our lives, taught by parents or family members.

But not everyone has the same opportunities to learn from others. Chigwell House* in Hobart, is a community hub that addresses homelessness by helping people develop life skills and engage with the community. The centre provides services such as the Learners Licenced Assistance Program to help vulnerable people gain their learners licence and embark on their journey toward independence.

For people like Simon, the services available at Chigwell House have given him an opportunity to learn how to drive, later in life.


Man driving a car

Simon's journey to an independent life

Simon is 55 years old and a long-term Mission Australia Housing tenant in Tasmania.

He has been attending the Chigwell House guided garden program since 2018 and has become known as the ‘guru of gardening’ for his knowledge, enthusiasm and willingness to tackle any gardening job. For his latest project he single-handedly built a compost station out of pallets.

The Licence Assistance Program Coordinator from Chigwell House noticed Simon had mentioned he wanted to learn to drive but didn’t have anyone to teach him.

Determined to help Simon, the team at Chigwell House coached and encouraged him to get his learner's licence. Since that first step, he has gone from strength to strength. Simon completed his 50 hours of driving training using a private driving school, his nephew and some of the tenants at Chigwell House as supervisory drivers.

Learning to drive has boosted Simon’s self-confidence and he recently purchased his very first car. He couldn’t wait to share his exciting news with everyone at Chigwell House.

Soon after he took his provisional driving test and thanks to all his training, he passed on his first attempt. We are so proud of Simon and can’t wait to see what goals he tackles next.

*Chigwell House in Hobart, is a community hub that takes a holistic approach to helping people who experience homelessness. Funded by Mission Australia’s supporters, we provide a range of services and programs to assist people in our communities.

*Names and images have been changed to protect the identity of the people we help.

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