A Stotfold man disabled since suffering a stroke at the age of five, has passed his driving test first time.
David Sims, now 31, also suffered brain damage at the age of 14 after a heavy fall at school, which meant that most of his right side is paralysed.
But despite his disabilities, David, who works for Hertfordshire Action on Disability (HAD), was able to utilise his left side and pass his driving test after 10 months’ tuition with the Welwyn Garden City-based charity’s Driving Centre manager David Wooder and senior driving assessor Matt Miller.
David thought the test went well but he was still nervous about the result: “When the lady examiner told me I had passed I was bemused and pleased at the same time.”
Matt explained: “Despite these injuries David’s left side is good and strong. With the help of a Lodgesons lollipop to help him steer and a panel of remote control switches, operated by his left hand, he’s proved to be a great driver in his adapted automatic Ford.”
So good, in fact, that when he took his test in St Albans, he passed with just two minor faults. “You are allowed up to 15 minor faults, so David’s driving was excellent,” Matt continued.
Now David is looking forward to driving to work. This will mean he will cut down on travelling from his home in Stotfold.
Although only 20 miles from Welwyn Garden City, the two-way journey by train and bus took him three hours.
When David isn’t looking after the front office at the charity he likes swimming and supporting Liverpool FC.
HAD is based in Welwyn Garden City and enables older and disabled people to lead an independent life. It celebrates its 60th anniversary next year.
“We are planning a host of awareness and fundraising events during 2018,” fundraiser Paul Bishop explained. “HAD is hoping to forge new partnerships with businesses, schools, Rotary clubs and other organisations throughout the year and we are hoping many will pick us as their chosen charity.”
HAD’s main services are:
>An equipment centre providing a huge range of mobility products and advice;
>A 24-hour accessible transport service;
>A driving centre providing assessments and lessons and;
>Information and advice.
For more information on HAD visit www.hadnet.org.uk or call 01707 324581.