Many of you know me (or know of me) through my volunteering efforts delivering aid to refugees - from Calais as far as Greece. I've been involved in this for 2 years now.
When I am not trying to deliver aid throughout Europe, I try to do my bit here in the UK and volunteer/have volunteered with numerous charities, projects and good causes.
To date, I have been very fortunate in being able to borrow vans for this, or get 'freebies' from hire companies, but it has always been a struggle to delivered the required amounts of stuff needed in just a solitary Transit van or Luton box van. This has often meant increased transportation costs due to sending multiple vehicles.
it has also cause legal issues in certain countries, especially along the Balkan route, because you are not allowed to sleep in any vehicle which has not been fitted with a satisfactory bunk.
Here in the UK, I have worked with housing groups and furniture projects. Most of this has been providing items of furniture or appliances to families in need - a fridge freezer, a sofa, etc - but I have also moved families on low incomes from house to house in cases where they have been unable to receive any help from the Benefits system.
As you can probably imagine, moving a family of 5 and all of their belongings in just a Transit sized van has often needed 3 or 4 trips. Not so bad if they are moving local, but when they are relocating to another town it can be very expensive and take up massive amounts of time.
In some cases, missions to deliver aid to refugees overseas have been held up or cancelled due to there not being a driver available to make the trip with the required category of license.
So, I am asking you to help me fund a Category C (or Class 2) license, which will allow me to drive big rigid bodied trucks.
Despite being an old bugger, I do not hold a 7.5 tonne entitlement on my license - I won't go into detail here, but when I eventually went 'legal' with my driving, the rules had changed and you never got the 7.5 tonne entitlement automatically (it's embarassing when your wife can drive bigger vehicles than you!).
I could simply raise the funds to get a 7.5 tonne entitlement - and that would be very useful for a lot of the aid work that I do/have done - but with there not being much difference in cost I may as well try to get my Category C license and widen my volunteering opportunities even further.
Please note, I DO NOT want to gain this license for employment purposes! I am happy with the job I do - therefore I also have no desire to complete the CPC test for professional commercial heavy goods drivers (This is why the course is so much cheaper than others).
I am not in a position to pay for this license myself. I am married with 3 kids and my wage, whilst not being bad, does not allow me to take money from the housekeeping for this purpose. My wife has been incredibly understanding about my volunteering over the last 2 years - but taking this money from her housekeeping would be the straw that broke the camels back!
Any help you are able to give me in reaching this goal would be massively appreciated. Of course, if you happen to own a driver training company and you can facilitate some free training, I would love to hear from you!
Thanks for reading and for your (anticipated) support.