A woman from Chichester has just moved into top gear after becoming one of the country’s youngest Driving Standards Agency’s approved driving instructors.
Aged just 21, Daisy Willard knew she wanted to be an instructor as soon as she sat in the driving seat during her first practical lessons when she was 17.
Since then, Daisy has worked extremely hard, accelerating through three difficult exams, passing the final one last week. She set up her own driver training school last autumn after passing the first level of her exams.
“I really enjoyed driving as soon as I started learning,” she said. “ I really liked the freedom to choose your hours and you can take time off when you need it. It’s quite good money as well and I like seeing the achievement of someone from starting right the way through to the end when they can drive off, confidently. Seeing people go from start to finish makes me quite proud.”
She passed first time after having between 22 and 25 lessons, and then carried on training.
“I didn’t go to university because I knew I wanted to pursue this and I thought it would be pointless going to uni and racking up a load of debt if I didn’t need to.”
She passed the first instructor’s test when she was still 20 and in full-time employment.
“I was determined to qualify and run my own driver training school, so I took the plunge and quit my full-time job last autumn so I could concentrate on completing my training and my business start up,” she said.
“The exams are very intense and you really have to learn and know so much, but I’m delighted I’ve now done it and can concentrate on teaching others.”
Daisy, who lives in Parklands, also intends to further enhance her driving skills with continued advanced training.
As well as enjoying seeing pupils progress, she said she also liked the social side of the job and because of her age, young pupils felt able to ask more questions. She currently has 14 pupils on her books, all at different stages.
An important part of Daisy’s work is imparting to people the DSA’s message about safe driving for life. “I can put into better perspective that it’s not that great to go racing around, putting other people’s lives in danger. It comes across better from a younger person, someone their own age, and obviously I also have the authority of being their instructor.”
Daisy said she had not thought too much about the future, but wanted to see how it went, and then maybe look at training other instructors.
Daisy learnt her skills from driving instructor Henry Bagnall, who said: “Daisy has been a great pupil and deserved to pass. She’s dedicated and is already proving herself to be an excellent instructor.”