The fund was established by two passionate and dedicated driving instructors who were concerned about the devastating impact COVID-19 had on the industry and the financial struggle it had created for many driving instructors
In November 2020 Bobbie Hicks and Susan McDonald started a fund for ADIs and PDIs who were facing severe financial hardship. They were concerned for their colleagues who were unable to work in what had been an incredibly challenging year for the profession and wanted to help them. With support from many in the driving instructor industry the fund took off and by January 2021 had raised in excess of £20,000 – which was the first milestone.
Thanks must go to everybody who has been involved so far and especially to Marmalade Insurance who have not only donated a total of £10,000 but also helped to inspire others to take part in the fundraising, and also to the National Associations Strategic Partnership whose membership associations (ADINJC, DIA and MSA) have made significant donations to the fund and are assisting with the administration and promotion of the fund.
While this is a wonderful achievement to date, we hope to develop this fund further and to get the whole industry involved so that we can continue to help ADIs & PDIs in need, not only through the pandemic but whenever they need help.
My name is Susan McDonald and I am a self-employed driving instructor from Billingham in Teesside. Since my partner died in 2006, I have been a single parent to three amazing boys. Prior to becoming an ADI, I worked in various offices in administration and financial roles.
In my ‘spare’ time, for over 30 years, I have been a volunteer of the local branch of the national charity Phab. During this time, I have held the positions of treasurer, administrator, assistant chairperson, fundraiser, leader, and organiser. I am currently the person in charge of the charity and also the manager of the community centre of which we have the lease. In my younger days I was also one of the founder members of the Phab Youth Council.
During the first lockdown I noticed a lot of ADI/PDIs were saying how they were struggling to make ends meet as they were not entitled to any financial help and were unable to earn a living due to restrictions imposed. In November I noticed a lot of people again starting to worry about how they were going to survive yet another lockdown without help and started to think of a way I could help. I decided to ask a small Facebook group for their opinion on setting up a fund to help the ‘forgotten ones’ and found that many people were willing to donate.
Bobbie Hicks got in touch with me and we decided it was worth a try so together we set up a GoFundMe page. Within the first few days the fund had raised almost £300.
The main aim of the fund is to ask fellow driving instructors, family and friends if they could donate any amount to be able to provide a little financial assistance to fellow ADI/PDIs who find themselves in financial difficulty through no fault of their own.
My name is Bobbie Hicks. I have been a driving instructor for about 27 years. During that time I have taken further training to become an accident investigator and then later a fleet trainer.
For a while during the second lockdown, I was thinking about setting up a GoFundMe page to help all the ADIs and PDIs whose stories I was coming across on Facebook. I saw Susan McDonald’s post about a similar idea and contacted her and this project was started. It seems like a scary thing to do, but we cannot live in fear, so we took the bull by the preverbal horns and launched the GoFundMe page.
We have both been bowled over by all the donations and help so far, which we are most grateful for.