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12 lucky young people getting free driving lessons from Dicksons of Inverness are revealed

By Neil MacPhail

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All set for their driving lessons, with Sgt David Miller (left) and Fraser Bryce (centre).
All set for their driving lessons, with Sgt David Miller (left) and Fraser Bryce (centre).

An Inverness motor group was inundated with applications from young people eager to take advantage of its offer to provide them with driving lessons and put them through their driving tests, and now the lucky future motorists have been revealed.

Dicksons of Inverness announced last year that it would put 12 young people between the ages of 17 and 24 through their driving lessons and tests and now nine of those selected to take part in the scheme have attended an event at Dicksons’ Nissan Showroom where they met Dicksons' staff and a police driving specialist and asked any questions they had.

Well over 700 applied to fill the 12 spaces with the company closing applications on November 30.

Dicksons’ On the Road winners are: Daniel Russell, Jack Stirling, Aden McMillan, Mikey Gregory, Rachel McNab and Thomas Haslam, all of Inverness; Robyn McMillan and Eve Miliken of Invergordon; Grace MacKay of Portmahomack; Bethany Peden of Wick; Sheree Melville of Alness; and Niamh Fawcett of Fortrose.

Thomas Haslam won Belladrum festival tickets for a motor simulation competition on the night and Jack Stirling won £50 of vouchers after a motor quiz.

Sergeant David Miller from Police Scotland was also present and gave a short talk about road safety and driving in the Highlands, offering invaluable pointers from his experience as a road policing office and his interaction with young drivers over the years. He also hosted a short Q&A.

The successful candidates from across the Highlands and Islands were nominated by friends, family, and the community they live in, via a page on the company’s website.

Judges from across the business spectrum in the Highlands then had the unenviable task of sifting through the applications to select the 12 lucky winners.

Dicksons will now partner with selected driving school instructors to roll out the scheme.

Thomas Haslam and Jack Stirling won prizes.
Thomas Haslam and Jack Stirling won prizes.

The company's aim was to allow young people in the north who may not necessarily have the means to pay for driving lessons, to be able to get themselves on the road.

This in turn could enable them to pursue career opportunities further afield and potentially boost their economic situation and develop confidence, experience and lifelong driving skills at a younger age, creating safer Highland roads.

Sergeant David Miller of Police Scotland.
Sergeant David Miller of Police Scotland.

Dicksons of Inverness managing director Fraser Bryce said: “We are astonished by the level of interest and the judges’ task in selecting 12 young people from so many applicants was extremely difficult, but it highlights the necessity for people to get on the road in the Highlands where private transport is invariably the only feasible option.

"We hope this gives them the best start to a lifetime of safe driving.”

Dicksons, which has been based in Inverness since 1992, employs more than 70 staff at its Telford Retail Park base.

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