Hampshire Now - your County Council magazine

Formula 1 legend Jody Scheckter hands out awards to the best Hampshire minibus drivers

Monday, 23 June 2014

Some of Hampshire's MiDAS minibus drivers have been recognised at an event in Basingstoke.

Former Formula 1 racing World Champion Jody Scheckter, who set up home in Hampshire and now runs Laverstoke Park Farm at Overton, helped to present awards for the Minibus Driver Awareness Scheme (MiDAS) Driver of the Year 2014 competition at Hampshire Court Hotel, in Chineham.

The MiDAS initiative, now celebrating its 20th year, ensures that volunteers and staff that may drive a minibus in their community or for an organisation or school, receive appropriate training and develop the necessary skills needed to drive the vehicle as well as looking out for the well being of passengers.

Drivers are nominated for the awards by their organisations and had to pass a driving assessment in the heats to get through to the final, during which the drivers were tested again on their driving skills. All the finalists were presented with certificates.

Andy Gilbertson from Liss Junior School claimed the winner's trophy and was joined in the final by Tim Hendon from Community Action Fareham and Robin Kelley from One Community.

Aimed at voluntary organisations, schools, colleges and local authorities who operate a minibus, the Hampshire Minibus Event included a full programme of training and briefing sessions, as well as two free exhibitions with more than 25 exhibitors.

The training and briefing sessions covered a wide range of topics including: driver licensing, managing a minibus and risk assessments.

Councillor Seán Woodward, Hampshire County Council's Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, said: "I wholeheartedly congratulate the winner of the MiDAS Driver of the Year 2014 competition. I hope people came away from the event feeling more informed and therefore able to make the best decisions for their organisations in terms of the operation of their minibuses. Access to a minibus can make a great difference to all sorts of people, and are used for a huge variety of journeys from school trips to regular transport for older people in rural communities."

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