The AA Driving School will deliver an initial £12,000 worth of refresher driving courses for Ukrainian refugees.

The courses are being funded by the AA Charitable Trust. They will give refugees one two-hour in-car session with either an AA or BSM driving instructor to bring them up to speed with UK roads. The course will cover road markings, signs, roundabouts and can be tailored to the needs of the individual.

A new start

“Like many others, we have been devastated at what is happening in Ukraine,” says Mark Oakley, interim CEO of the AA Driving School and BSM.

“Our driving instructors have responded so positively to the idea of helping Ukrainian drivers stay safe on the roads once they get here. The courses will help refugees adjust to driving on the other side of the road, as well as teaching them how to navigate road markings, signs and roundabouts.

“We really hope it goes some way to helping refugees adjust to a new country.”

Help and support

Edmund King OBE, AA president comments: “We have all seen the terrible news coming daily out of Ukraine. Sometimes we feel helpless and just really want to help.”

“We have donated to the Red Cross appeal and are now offering job opportunities as well as providing free storage space, signage and European breakdown cover to support refugee donations.

“We hope the course will help Ukrainians in some small way to adjust to life in the UK.”

Business gets into gear

 The AA and AA Trust are also delighted to be working alongside Emma Sinclair MBE. She is co-ordinating leading businesses in their response to the refugee crisis.

Emma, CEO EnterpriseAlumni says the response from British businesses has been “uplifting but not surprising to witness”.  As well as helping refugees gt to the UK, they are helping them settle and find employment.

“I believe we urgently need an improved and reimagined system for supporting refugees who arrive in the UK”.

Language, employment and resettlement skills are all important areas of support. Being able to drive is one important area to allow access to opportunities and help the refugees support themselves while they are living here.

“Everyone is pitching in,” she says of businesses across the country. “I believe this will offer dignity to those arriving here, pride to the British public and benefit to the UK economy. It’s a win for everyone. “