Children from special school in Edmonton take to the wheel in taster day

Pupils from West Lea school had the chance to expireance driving

Arnold Kyeswa is aspiring to be able to himself in the future

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Ten children from a special school in Edmonton took the wheel at a driving taster day.

West Lea School in Hazelbury Road, gave ten of its pupils the chance to try their hand at driving for the first time.

The school takes on children with learning disabilities and is believed to be the first school to give its pupils the chance of learning to drive.

Teenagers were first given an hour’s worth of theory before testing their practical driving skills with examiners.

Hertfordshire Action on Disability (HAD) will assess each pupil and decide if they are suitable to have more sessions.

Arnold Kyeswa, 17, has learning difficulties and revealed how much he enjoyed being in the car for the first time.

He said: “I loved controlling the car and handling the steering wheel. It would be great to be able to drive so that my mum won’t have to give me lifts or order a cab for me to get everywhere.”

Arnold’s mother Juliet Lugya was proud of her son for getting behind the wheel.

She said: “I would never have thought that anywhere would provide Arnold the chance to drive but I am so happy and proud that he has been given the chance.

“He is a very enthusiastic boy and being able to drive would mean the world to him. He loves working at the shop and this can give him the independence he deserves.”

Julian Halford, community and enterprise manager at the school, believes children should not be held back by their disabilities when learning to drive.

He said: “Our main ethos at this school can put into one word: independent. We want to drive the children to be as independent as possible and if a few of them can learn to drive, that will no doubt make them more independent.

“I believe that only five per cent of people with learning disabilities work and that is a terribly low amount. We want to change that in any way possible and adding the ability to drive to their CV will help tremendously.”

Mr Halford is hopeful that the experience can become a regular event and spread to other special schools in the area.

He said: “We would love for someone to sponsor us and help provide children with learning difficulties the chance to experience driving. Once we can do that who knows where this could go.”

The children who took part were:

  • Steven Sophroniou, 17
  • Arnold Kyeswa, 17
  • Georgia McNamara, 17
  • Peter Sherwin, 17
  • Uman Sumon, 18
  • Lucy Halle-Sly, 17
  • Ebony Hutchinson, 17
  • Rhy Miller, 17
  • Lucy Mazun, 17
  • Tashan Beckles, 17

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