A little about the fund from Susan and Bobbie

In these trying times everybody needs a little help and if the Government cannot help us all, then the least we, as Driving Instructors can do is help each other and share what little we do have. We know it is hard for everybody at the moment, but with over 40,000 ADI’s on the register, if everyone was able to donate £1 to show those who have been excluded that they are not alone, it would show that while we may work alone and vie for the same customers, we don’t have to be alone when we need help.

Who are Susan and Bobbie?

Susan: 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 3 amazing boys (actually, they are now men – but they’re still my boys)! Prior to being an ADI, I spent my working life in various offices working in administration and financial roles until I was made redundant and my father died shortly after. At this point I realised that there was more to life than sitting in a boring office all day and that now was the time to make the change and do something I actually wanted to do and not something I had to do to make ends meet. Many, many years before I had wanted to become a Driving Instructor, so I decided that it was now or never. In my ‘spare’ time, for over 30 years, I have been a volunteer of a Registered Charity which is 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 and I am currently the Person In Charge of the Charity and also the Manager of the Community Centre which we have the lease of. 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/PDI’s were saying how much 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. Some of these people were really struggling and seemed quite desperate. At this time, I thought that there must be some help somewhere for these people, but there was nothing for so many of them and I wished I could help them in some way. In November, as we entered a second lockdown 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 discussed how this could be possible and if the fund could actually help people and we decided it was ‘worth a try’ so together we set up a Go Fund Me 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/PDI’s who find themselves in financial difficulty through no fault of their own. There will be a strict selection process to ensure that the funds are allocated fairly and to the people who really need them.

Bobbie: 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 Go Fund me page to help all the ADI’s and PDI’s 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 Go Fund me page. We have both been bowled over by your offer of help at the ADINJC, which we are most grateful for.

And a huge well done to the team at ADINJC and to everyone who has donated to the Go Fund Me link so far.

ADINJC comment: It’s been absolutely amazing to see it grow so fast. We are very aware that every donation, no matter how small, will make a real difference to the total we want to try and raise in support of Susan McDonald and Bobbie Hicks who started the fund. NJC want to thank everyone who has sent individual donations, anonymous donations, and larger donations to swell the fund. Special thanks must go to the inspiring offer of help from our sponsor Marmalade. Yesterday Nick Moger, their Chairman promised that if we reached £2,500 he would double that and as you can see that money is now in the fund. Today we have just heard that once the fund reaches £12,500 (£10,000 aside from their £2,500 donation) they will add a further £7,500. A sum of £10,000 from them altogether. That has to inspire us all to reach that goal! We also want to thank another of our sponsors, MyDriveTime for a generous donation. Finally we want to thank Simon Johnston from AcciDON’T who has also given us a large donation.

Nick Moger, Marmalade Chairman has said: “Marmalade is thrilled that this extremely worthy cause is gaining so much traction. In fact, we are so excited by the generous response of ADIs so far, we have decided to increase our original £2,500 donation. Once the fund reaches £12,500, Marmalade will add a further £7,500 bringing the total sum donated to £10,000. We sincerely hope this will go some way to making a difference to the lives of those driving instructors who have sadly ‘fallen through the net’ in terms of Government assistance during the Coronavirus epidemic”.

How can you help?

  • Donate as an individual ADI or PDI
  • Donate as a group of people or local association
  • Donate as a company who work for and with ADIs and PDIs
  • Send on this newsflash so people can see what we are achieving and join in
  • Spread the word on your social media platforms

Please donate using this link.