Holleeann drives for positive change at Foundation 92


Foundation 92

A Manchester charity is driving forward with its campaign to tackle anti-social behaviour across the city thanks to support from one of the UK’s leading training providers.

Salford-based Foundation 92 supports people to improve their lives through sport and education, with an emphasis on physical and mental wellbeing.

Manchester mobile hub

As part of its youth programme, Foundation 92 has converted a bus – secured in partnership with Transport for Greater Manchester – into a mobile hub which visits different community locations six nights a week to engage with young people across housing estates, in town and city centres and at bus and train stations.

With just one trained bus driver previously, Foundation 92 was keen to add another driver to its roster to provide additional resources.

Youth Programme Coordinator Holleeann Walker

The charity’s Youth Programme Coordinator Holleeann Walker stepped up to the plate to secure her licence after leading training provider Realise carried out the tuition free of charge.

Realise delivers the Route to Success scheme – which is a free training programme that takes people with no bus driving experience and equips them with the skills to become professional drivers – in Greater Manchester.

Holleeann said: “I have always expressed an interest in transport. When visiting the various locations across Manchester and delivering our community sessions, I’d often get talking to bus drivers about training, so when the opportunity came up to get my licence I jumped at the chance.

“I did find the prospect of driving a bus a little daunting.

“However, once I started the training, I loved it. The programme was both informative and enjoyable and in just a few weeks, I gained new skills and can now confidently get behind the wheel of our bus.

“It’s going to make a big difference to our youth outreach programme and will give us a greater chance of being out in the community six nights a week.

“We are really grateful to Realise for providing the training free of charge which has removed a big financial burden.”

The converted bus features a string of activities for the youngsters to engage with, including air hockey, PlayStation and VR headsets, while Foundation 92 representatives are on hand to engage with visitors to the hub.

Paul Smith, Partnerships Manager

Paul Smith, Partnerships Manager for Realise’s Route to Success programme, said: “Our bus driver training programme has been extremely popular and we are delighted to be able to support Foundation 92 in the outstanding work it does across Manchester.

“Holleeann did extremely well throughout the training and it was fantastic to see her complete her training and be ready to take the charity’s services to the streets of Manchester.”

Route to Success

Residents of Greater Manchester who are over the age of 19 and have a standard driving licence are eligible to sign up to Route to Success.

A total of 112 learners have either completed or are currently going through the programme – which takes a maximum of 16 weeks to complete – and are taking their first steps towards a new career.

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority Authority has now given the green light for a further 60 learners to be trained in an extension to the scheme.

The course, which is hosted at the Realise Training Hub based at Rochdale Football Club’s Crown Oil Arena, is open to any individual aged over 19 and with a full UK driving licence.

The Route to Success programme sees learners delivered training in all aspects of driving a bus including medical assessments, theory and hazard practice and test, on-road driving and customer service.

As well as obtaining a Passenger Carrying Vehicle licence through the course, those completing the programme will also be guaranteed a job interview with an operator in Greater Manchester.

Learn more about the Route to Success programme here: Route to Success.