Skip to main content Skip to contact details

Robert’s first driving lessons

Robert, who Affinity Trust supports in Bedford, is taking driving lessons for the first time.

Affinity Trust has supported Robert, who has a mild learning disability, since 2017. It was a year later that he first told his support team he wanted to learn to drive.

The first challenge was finding an instructor. Affinity Trust supports Robert with things like correspondence and GP appointments – so his support team said they’d find him a driving instructor.

It wasn’t that easy. Will, Affinity Trust’s local Team Leader, contacted local instructors but, on hearing that Robert had a learning disability, they declined to teach him. In all, Will called 12 instructors; all said no.

But persistence paid off. Will struck lucky with his thirteenth call, to Red Driving School in Bedford. Having taken advice from Red, local instructor Stuart said he would be happy to teach Robert.

Stuart’s decision was based in part on his previous knowledge of people with learning disabilities. “I don’t want to treat them differently; why shouldn’t they have the same opportunities?”


And so, since December 2018, Robert had been having twice-weekly lessons with Stuart on the streets of Bedford. It’s just the two of them in the car – Robert’s support staff are not needed.

Is anything different about teaching Robert? Mainly the type of communication, says Stuart. He has slightly adapted his approach, asking simpler questions to suit Robert’s communication style: “For instance, I’ll give him two options. I might say, this is the right situation and this is the wrong situation.” Red advocate client-centred learning, which is ideal for a situation like this.

After three months, Stuart has noticed how Robert’s confidence has grown. “How much he’ll talk with me is a thousand times different. Now we’ll have a little chat.”

At the same time, Robert has been learning driving theory online. His support team helped him research laptops, looking for one he would find easy to use. They also advised on the best websites to practise on. The laptop itself was bought by Robert’s financial advocate.

How are the lessons going? Stuart says: “Generally he’s getting on really well, in leaps and bounds over the past couple of weeks”. Now, at the end of a lesson, Robert will drive home.

And how is Robert himself finding driving lessons? “It’s fun,” he says.

Contact us

Contact us

Head Office

Head Office
1 St. Andrew's Court, Wellington Street, Thame, Oxfordshire OX9 3WT View Map
T: 01844 267800 F: 01844 267829 E:

Central England

Central - Divisional Office
109 Boston Road, Beaumont Leys, Leicester, LE4 1AW View Map
T: 0116 236 3793 F: 0345 643 7094 E:
Sheffield office
157-163 Sheffield Road, Killamarsh, Sheffield S21 1DY View Map
T: 0114 276 4980 E:

East England

East - Divisional Office
U18, South Fens Business Centre, Fenton Way, Chatteris, Cambridgeshire PE16 6TT View Map
T: 01354 696009 F: 08456 437521 E:
Suffolk Office
Office 3, Wharfside House, Prentice Road, Stowmarket, Suffolk IP14 1RD View Map
T: 01449 774030 E:

North England

North - Divisional Office
Unit 9 Parkview Court, St Paul's Road, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD18 3DX View Map
T: 01274 533553 E:

Positive Behaviour Support for children, young people and their families

Positive Behaviour Support
1 St. Andrew's Court Wellington Street, Thame, Oxfordshire, OX9 3WT View Map
T: 07341 478228 E:


Scotland - Divisional Office
62 Viewfield Road, Ayr KA8 8HH View Map
T: 01292 436030 E:
Oban Office
First Floor, Glenshellach House, 7e Glengallan Road, Oban, PA34 4HG View Map
T: 01631 571311 F: 01631 566708 / 0872 111 4616 E:
Aberdeen Office
87a Urquhart Road, Aberdeen, AB24 5ND View Map
T: 01224 039264 E:
Isle of Bute Office
18 East Princes Street, Rothesay, Isle of Bute PA20 9DL View Map
T: 01700 500376 E:
Irvine office
Suites 2/1 and 2/2, Landek House, 44-46 Bank Street, Irvine KA12 0LP View Map
T: 01294 446600 E:

South England

South - Divisional Office
Suites 53-55, Aldershot Enterprise Centre, Mandora House, Aldershot, Hampshire, GU11 2PW View Map
T: 01252 311188 F: 01252 311170 E:
Oxford Office
Office 4, Hampden House, Monument Park, Chalgrove, Oxfordshire OX44 7RW View Map
T: 01865 893269 E:
Somerset Office
Mendip Court, Bath Road, Wells, Somerset BA5 3DG View Map
T: 01749 605594 E:

South East England

South East - Divisional Office
Suite 2+3, Henwood Pavilion, Henwood, Ashford, Kent, TN24 8DH View Map
T: 01233 665324 E:
East Sussex Office
Units 31-32, Castleham Business Centre East, Stirling Road, St Leonards On Sea, East Sussex, TN38 9NP View Map
T: 01424 853390 F: 0845 643 7300 E:

Specialist Support

Specialist Support
Head Office, 1 St Andrew's Court, Wellington Street, Thame View Map
T: 01844 267800 F: 01844 267049 E: