Students get into gear during driving to success programme

Students get into gear during driving to success programme

25 March 2020

TWENTY six students from the South Eastern Regional College’s Downpatrick campus recently completed the ‘driving to success’ programme.

Delivered by the further education college in conjunction with the Downpatrick Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership and funded by the Department for Communities, the programme is widely acclaimed.

All participants live within the Downpatrick Neighbourhood Renewal area with the further education college’s Driving to Success project officer, Tatiana Seed, explaining that it provides an opportunity for people to equip themselves with practical skills and knowledge to improve their employability.

She said the college was delighted that 26 students have achieved nationally recognised qualifications in health and social care, hospitality and customer services, personal development and IT.

The programme also provided free driving lessons and an opportunity for students to take their driving theory and practical tests to obtain a full driving licence.

“This alone can make a huge difference to participants’ self-confidence and independence as they go about their daily lives and greatly improves their employment opportunities,” Tatania continued.

“Since 2012, over 240 participants have completed the programme with many students confirming that participating in it helped them build their confidence, boost self-esteem and motivation, alongside acquiring new relevant and practical skills.”

Tatania said that following completion of the course, many feel that they have the confidence to continue their education with the local college.

Raphael Crummy, a development manager with the Department for Communities, said projects like driving to success engage with people in their local area and support them to make a difference for themselves and to transform their community. 

He added: “Driving to Success instils a sense of pride in individuals and their communities which helps make communities stronger.”

Student Connor Beament — who successfully completed the programme — said that before taking part he was unemployed.

“I have now secured employment locally in Dakota Bobs as a waiter and am in training to be a supervisor,” he said. “I am also thinking about returning to the college to do an IT course.   

“There is a lot of support available to get you back into education or apply for jobs. I would encourage anyone in the area to think about the Driving to Success programme as it has given me a real boost and I have passed my driving test too.”

Anyone who would like to find out more about the programme should contact Tatiana Seed at