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**Press release from The Under 17 Car Club Charitable Trust**

The Under 17 Car Club Charitable Trust has announced an £8,000 bursary scheme, part of a £25k national scheme, to enable young people from Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire to take part in its innovative ‘Pathfinder Initiative’ pre-licence driving and road safety programme.

Participation in Pathfinder reduces the 1st year of driving accident risk to 5% compared with more than 20% nationally (DfT). Our survey, validated by Loughborough University, shows that graduates of the Pathfinder initiative are significantly less likely to be involved in accidents or to be injured than the general population of young drivers. Evidence here: www.u17ccctrust.org/research/

The bursary scheme funding, which has been provided by West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion, supports young people from the policing area with The Under 17 Car Club Charitable Trust providing funding for young people from outside the area. One particular aspect of the funding is to support young people living in care to participate including cars being loaned to the scheme by West Mercia Police.

The value of each bursary is not less than £120, sometimes more, enabling over more than 60 young people to benefit from a bursary each year. The focus of eligibility of these bursaries is typically low income, single parent families, or for young people with learning or health challenges.

PCC John Campion said: “Too many lives are ruined, and families torn apart, by young drivers being killed or seriously injured on our roads.

“As PCC, I’m proud to support Pathfinder as it gives young people a great opportunity to increase their competency and understanding, ultimately contributing to making our roads safer.”

Paul Silverwood, Chair of The Under 17 Car Club Charitable Trust, said: “I’m delighted that we are able to support the cost for students to participate in our Pathfinder life saving courses thereby delivering on our charity’s objectives.”