This week let a new challenge begin.
I will start what will undoubtedly be a long process in learning how to drive a car! This very first step will involve attending an assessment centre in Harlow, Essex to determine the car adaptions I require in order to drive. Seeing Martyn’s car and by virtue of having a very similar level of physical impairment to him, I know for a fact that these adaptations will be extensive and complex, so it will be important that my needs are carefully and accurately assessed. I am still not entirely sure exactly what Tuesday’s assessment will entail, but I guess that it will involve trying some vehicles that are already adapted to see whether they suit my needs.
Driving a car is something that I have wanted to do for a long time, but have put it off for one silly reason or another that probably had something to do with that irritatingly complex human flaw known as fear. Currently, I get around by being transported in an adapted van that is driven by my PA. While this system works well, I have always believed that nothing beats (where possible and practical) doing something independently for yourself.
So finally, it came down to biting the bullet and simply starting the process!
In the UK, a government sponsored organisation called Motability provides support to those with disabilities who wish to drive. This support ranges from adaptation assessments to vehicle funding and driver training. I submitted my application in mid-January and after getting all the paperwork through, this first and potentially momentous step in having an assessment on Tuesday was arranged!
There is a long way to go before I will be let free on our roads (and even a longer way before I am racing an F1 car…haha!) and I accept there is even a possibility that driving is simply beyond my physical abilities. But I can only find this out by trying and seeing what ends up happening!