Howard Oorloff: Mentor Supervising Driving at Yarra's L2P Learner Driver Mentor Program
Friday 14 May 2021
To celebrate National Volunteer Week 2021 we’re sharing six stories from some of the incredible people who volunteer in the City of Yarra.
Howard has been a valued member of the L2P Learner Driver Mentor Program, run by Yarra City Council’s Youth Services, since 2013.
As a recent retiree, Howard is happy to give more of his time to mentoring and being a supervising driver.
Howard has contributed over 476 hours assisting disadvantaged young people, with no access to a supervising driver or vehicle, to gain the 120 hours driving experience needed to apply for their licence.
What made you want to volunteer?
“Volunteering is a wonderful opportunity to give back to people that can really do with your help. Think about volunteering along the lines of ‘To Whom Much Is Given, Much Is Expected’.”
Howard’s motivation for volunteering with L2P is simple. He loves helping young people achieve their goals and aspirations.
“From seeing with my own children what a difference having a driving licence meant to their lives, I want other young people to have access to this program too.
“It can give them independence, help them to attend job interviews, it assists them to help other family members, attend TAFE or school etc.”
What do you love about volunteering at Yarra’s L2P Program?
“Besides the personal satisfaction of giving back to the community in a small way, I really enjoy meeting new people.”
“Being an L2P mentor has given me the opportunity of meeting people I might not have met otherwise, such as other mentors and of our course the diverse mentees.”
What skills have you gained?
An added advantage that has come out of Howard’s experience with L2P is that he believes the re-fresher training has made him a better and more careful driver!
Any advice for people looking to volunteer?
“Try to meet the people who are running the volunteer program to get a feel if you connect, if the program is professionally run and that there are supporting mechanism in place to assist you if you need it.”
“See if you can also talk to people who are either currently on or have previously benefitted from the volunteer program. It’s crucial that you speak with people at the ‘coal face’, they’re the ones who really know if the program is successful or not.”
Other advice that Howard has taken on is to ensure that there is flexibility to your role so that it doesn’t become a ‘trudge’ and seem to be a ‘9-5’ job.
“It’s helpful to find a role that is not too far from where you live, so that you are not spending too much time getting to and from the place you are volunteering at”.