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This month’s past pupil is a bit more of a recent success story, as we catchup with Gina O’Neill. Gina passed her driving test in March this year, after doing driving lessons with Weelz owner, and instructor, Dale Brooks. We had a chat with her, just over a month on from that big day, to see how she found her lessons, and how she’s been getting on since she became a full licence holder. Here’s what Gina had to say:

“My driving lessons were always good, even when I had a bit of an off day, Dale always made me feel at ease. I would have 90-minute lessons, and I learned something new every time. I think the 90-minute lessons are great to give you enough time to sort out any mistakes that I did make, which was never a hardship, as my instructor was so patient with me. My favourite lesson was in the snow, which gave me a real taster of real life driving. It was a bit nerve-wracking, but great to learn those skills whilst having my instructor sat next to me!

I was so nervous going into my first lesson, but I guess that is completely normal. Even now, a month on, I still get a bit nervous in situations that feel new, but then, I remember all the training and skills that Dale taught me, breathe (Which always helps!!), and then I get through it.

Throughout my lessons Dale would take me in areas similar to those used on the test, which, I think prepared me really well for the practical. He would also ask me loads of questions while driving, which really helped with my theory too. The theory really is the easy bit though, I promise! The practical test is nerve wracking, so, if you struggle with anxiety, its important to remember to breathe, and relax.

Now I’ve passed my test, life is so much easier. I can take myself to work, get the kids to school, do my shopping, and there is no more walking in the rain! I can’t thank Dale, and Weelz enough, I had had 3 instructors in the past and when I started I was a nervous wreck, and was scared of going above third gear, now I love driving, and love 5th gear too!”

Gina learned with Weelz instructor, Dale Brooks, who is based in Anchorsholme. Here’s what Dale said:

“Gina was very determined to get herself a driving licence. It is always a great help when any pupil has that degree of commitment. She had lessons in the past, but her confidence needed building up. She already had all the skills she needed to be a good driver, she really just wanted some encouragement to help her believe that.

I know her life has become so much easier since getting that driving licence. Gina still keeps in touch, showing me her new car, and telling me about all the journeys she is embarking on.

Keep safe out there Gina and thanks for choosing me to be your driving instructor!”

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This week’s past pupil is Chelsey Evans, who lives in Blackpool. Chelsey passed her driving test back in 2015, after doing lessons with Weelz instructor, Alison Nuttall. We caught up with her just over 3 years on from that big day, to see how she found her lessons, and how she’s been getting on since she became a full licence holder. Here’s what Chelsey had to say:

“When I was first decided to start my driving lessons, I did a bit of shopping around online, but I decided to use Weelz Driving School, as my boyfriend had already passed with Alison, and spoke nothing but great things about her.

I was feeling pretty nervous before my first lesson, but so, so excited too. As soon as I had been in the car for 5 minutes, I instantly felt comfortable with Alison. I feel like my lessons, with her, really prepared me for driving on my own. Alison is very calm and collected, and she teaches to always think before taking any action. This was instilled in me from the start, and has really worked for me since I passed.

The run up to the driving test was quite nerve-wracking, but Alison coming with me, and being there when I came out, gave me a feeling of extra support and guidance. I actually found that the test itself was not half as bad as I thought it was going to be.

I passed my driving test when I was 18 and I was so over the moon that I would never have to get on a bus again! It has given me so much freedom, and the opportunity to travel anywhere I want, independently, and without relying on anyone else for help. All in all, both myself and my boyfriend had Alison as our driving instructor. We both passed first time and genuinely enjoyed the whole experience and process of learning”

Chelsey learned with Weelz instructor, Alison Nuttall, who is based in Blackpool. Here’s what Alison said:

“I taught Chelsey to drive, from a complete beginner, with no experience at all. I had already taught her boyfriend, so it was nice that we already had something in common. She picked everything up quickly, and we were out on the roads in no time. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all plain sailing, but it really helped that we got on well, because we could talk through any mistakes and Chelsey really took on board what I said. This obviously really helped, and I was delighted to see her pass, first time!

I now see Chelsey all the time, at the gym. It makes me happy when I see her driving in and out of the carpark, and it is a great feeling knowing that I helped to give her the freedom of driving.”

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It’s that time of the month again, when we catch up with one of our past pupils. This week we have spoken to Leigh-Ann Cahill, who passed her driving test in September 2018, after completing driving lessons with Weelz instructor, David Smithson. Here’s what Leigh-Ann had to say, just a few months after that big day:

“I took my very first driving lesson back in 2011, after deciding to start lessons with a local driving instructor. If I said I found it easy, then I would be lying! After about 10 hours, this instructor still had me doing the basics and going up and down the prom. The struggle with gears was a very real on for me, until eventually, my instructor said “Maybe you would be better suited to learning in an automatic!” – Well, that was it, confidence dashed!

Over the next few years I restarted my lessons a few times. I tried a couple of different of instructors, but I just never found one I could gel with, or that could gel with me, and I just could not learn from them, for whatever reason. After taking a break from the roads, for over 2 years, I decided to give Dale Brooks a ring, at Weelz Driving School. Dale was really helpful and teamed me up with David Smithson. I was expecting more of the same, but, right from the first lesson David put me at ease, and all my nerves were gone! He has a great way of explaining things in layman’s terms, which made it all, so much easier to understand. As my confidence grew, he started to put me into more “realistic” driving situations. These were things that I could come across when I was on my own, rather than just aimlessly driving around. We looked at things like bad weather, low sun, night driving and Bispham Roundabout!

I found David really easy to get along with. He never got mad with me when I was stressing, getting upset, forgetting everything (He nicknamed me Dory!), or talking his head off. As a result of having such a patient, calm, and easy to understand instructor….I passed my test in September 2018 in…..*shock horror*…..a manual car!!

I have been driving my own car for a couple of months now and so far, so good. There have been a few times I still get myself in a bit of a pickle, usually stalling, but I just do what David taught me. Stop, stay calm, assess the situation and then move away when it is safe to do so.
I plan to do my Pass Pluss and some motorway lessons with Weelz very soon. Driving has absolutely changed my life and I am 100% certain I could not have done it without the help of David and Weelz Driving School”

Leigh-Ann’s instructor was David Smithson, who is based in Layton. Here is what David had to say:

“Leigh-Ann was an absolute pleasure to teach. I knew how keen she was to drive, and what a big difference it would make to her life. I always enjoy a challenge, so when she told me a previous instructor had told her to learn in an automatic, I was determined to get her through her test in a manual car. It was a great day when Leigh-Ann passed her test. The job satisfaction you get from a result like that is incredible, and its great to know that all the hard work and effort has paid off.
I would really like to wish Dory, I mean Leigh-Ann, many happy years of safe driving. I know she’ll be doing great! All the best.”

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As we head into March, it’s time to catch up with another past pupil. This week we’ve had a chat with Annette Osborne, who did her driving lessons with Weelz instructor, Paul Jenkins, passing her test in August 2018. We caught up with her almost 9 months on to see how she found her lessons, and how she’s been getting on since she became a full licence holder. Here’s what Annette had to say:

“The run up to my first driving lesson was terrifying, my mind was racing with what to expect, as it had been 30 years since I had last tried to drive. Paul was so patient with me though and told me what to expect in a “new” car. I was pleased to drive on my first lesson, getting up above 20 miles an hour, and even gear changes went OK! I struggled with confidence in my own abilities and awareness. This stumped me for months, but I gained so much experience from different situations, some of which I would only expect to encounter after years of driving. I honestly could write a book about the things that happened to me whilst learning, from cyclists swerving out in front of me to a police car pulling out in front of me at a roundabout. We had a standing joke that if it was going to happen, it was going to happen to me while Paul was teaching me. Whenever I managed to achieve something new, it was such a boost, and perfecting the roundabouts was, by far, my biggest achievement.

I feel that my driving lessons have definitely prepared me for being out on the roads on my own, with a mantra of awareness, and always double checking it is safe, to be certain. My driving lessons taught me, not just how to drive, but to have confidence in myself and my driving ability.

I actually passed my driving test at the third attempt, and I have to say, my first test was one of the most scary things I’ve ever done. I could not stop shaking, and I was so nervous. Having said that, the drive was going great, and I just made one silly mistake. I didn’t mind that too much, because I felt it was a great learning curve, and the examiner was so nice about it! I realised then that there was nothing to be scared of.

My second attempt was perfect, until the last 5 second, when I failed on reversing into a bay at the test centre, you just couldn’t make it up! It was funny in some ways, but so, so frustrating. Thankfully, on my third test, I had the same lady examiner as I’d had on the second, and that made me feel a little more relaxed, so I passed that one. I can not express enough how the examiners are there to pass you and not to fail you. They aren’t scary at all. Even when I failed they both gave me great words of encouragement.

9 months on, I haven’t done loads of driving, but I will be doing when the summer finally gets here. The freedom to just be able to jump into a car and go wherever you want is so good, I honestly wish I’d done it years ago.

Learning with someone like Paul, who praises you constantly, and explains where you’ve gone wrong, without getting cross or annoyed, is a credit to Weelz and to Paul himself. I sometimes wish he would come and sit in to encourage me whilst I am out and about on my own. I’m still not a fan of reverse parking in carparks, but parallel parking is a doddle, as I cheated and bought a car that drives itself!

Thankyou all for giving this old girl a new lease of independence!”

Annette’s instructor, Paul Jenkins, who is based in Blackpool, said:

“Annette is a prime example of a perfect learner, She was always keen to listen and absorb information, whilst having the patience to learn from her mistakes. I always inform pupils that examiners are there to monitor a drive for forty minutes, not to fail you. It’s always nice to get a first time pass, but safe driving for life is the key, and its fixing the small faults that makes the difference.

Everybody that I teach is unique. Male, female, young and old will all learn in their own time, but the overall result of knowing road safety is always the goal. So, whether it takes you ten or fifty lessons, or one, or five tests, then don’t worry, you’ll get there in the end”

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Our first past pupil of the new year is Amanda Worrall, who passed her driving test in September 2016. Living in Staining at the time, she completed lessons with Weelz instructor, Richard Singleton. We caught up with her, just over 2 years on from that big day, to see how she found her lessons, and how she’s been getting on since she became a full licence holder. Here’s what Amanda said:

“I thought my driving lessons were really good, and I definitely learned a lot. I know a lot of people are nervous going into their first lesson, but I was really excited as I’d heard lots of good things about Weelz, so I was really looking forward to getting started.

When I got to the stage of taking my driving test, I was actually quite relaxed, and found it very easy, as I felt that I was very well prepared for it and I knew what to expect. I feel that the driving lessons I did with Richard, not only made the driving test itself feel easy, but, they also prepared me, very well, for driving, independently, after my test.

Driving has definitely made my life a lot easier. It has opened up a lot of doors for me as regards to jobs and study. Its great for doing the little things too, generally just being able to drive around, as well as being able to take my kids out to various activities and clubs”

Amanda’s instructor, was Richard Singleton, who is based in Kirkham. He remembers Amanda’s test day fondly, as she was the first pupil to pass her driving test with him, as a fully qualified driving instructor! Here’s what Richard had to say:

“As I had only just qualified as a driving instructor, whilst I was teaching Amanda (I qualified in August 2016), it was a great feeling to get my first pass in the September. I taught in exactly the same way I was teaching people as a trainee instructor. I just applied the things that I had learned through my training “in anger”, so to speak. The feeling of my first “qualified” pass was amazing, and it made it even better to see how much it meant to Amanda too. She was nervous on the test day itself, and that always makes the positive result even more great!

All of her lessons were very enjoyable, and a lot of one on one discussions took place. One area of particular improvement we worked on was to make her more aware of her speed, as she initially thought that she ALWAYS had to be at the speed limit. Her road awareness really improved, and that, definitely helped her to pass. In summary, Amanda was a fantastic pupil, and getting that full licence has made a big impact, giving her a lot more freedom for her and her family.”

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This week’s past pupil is Jenny Brand, from Fleetwood. Jenny did driving lessons with Weelz instructor, Martin Crane, back in 2016, passing her test at the beginning of February 2017. We caught up with her almost 2 years on to see how she found her lessons, and how she’s been getting on since she became a full licence holder. Here’s what Jenny had to say:

“My first driving lessons were fab! Martin made me feel really comfortable and I achieved a lot more than I initially thought I would, in those first few lessons. Like most people, I was nervous going into my first lesson, but my instructor put me at ease straight away. He talked me through the process of what I’d be learning in stages. It really helped to calm my anxieties. As much as I learned, with the aim of passing the driving test, I really feel that I was taught how to be a safe driver. I was taught some rhymes, which I still use, to this day, to remind myself every time I drive – for example “If you have less space, use less pace”!

Like most people, I was very nervous for my test, but I had been well prepared with mock tests during my driving lessons. That really helped me to understand what was going to happen on the day.

Learning to drive and getting my licence has made an invaluable difference to my life. I used to rely on public transport, using busses and trains. Some days, this could consist of 7 hours of commuting time to get to and from where I needed be. Now I can drive, the travel time is down to 2 hours a day. This means I get much more family time with my children. It also means I get to take them places, which, otherwise, would have been impossible. My children are happier, and that means I am happier. I love being able to drive. Thankyou Weelz and Martin!!”

Jenny’s instructor, was Martin Crane, who is based in Fleetwood, said:

“I know how much of a difference that driving licence will have made to Jenny’s life. She is a trainee midwife, who is at university in Liverpool, also doing placements at hospitals in that area. On top of that she is a mother of 2 young children, and I know juggling that could often get her down. She was always really determined, but having to get a bus to Blackpool, then a train to Preston, and another into Liverpool, was taking its toll. I know she would often have to leave the house before the kids were up, and not get home until after they’d gone to bed. The motorway network, I know, can often be congested, but that is nothing compared to what she was dealing with before. That driving license, I’m sure, will have changed her life, and I have no doubt that she will qualify and be a great success. That will make all of those hard times worthwhile, and I’m really happy to have played a small part in that journey.”

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We have a slightly different past pupil write up today, as we caught up with Wayne Wareing. Wayne never actually passed his driving test with Weelz Driving School, but both of his sons passed, after learning with Weelz instructor, Shane Brown. Here is what Wayne had to say:

“Shane from Weelz was the driving instructor that taught both of my eldest boys, and they both had their licence in a very unexpected timescale. Shane took my son, Richard, out on his 17th birthday. I was absolutely shocked that he had my son, from not driving at all, to passed, in just 7 weeks! This has now made him a big part of the family business, as he drives full time for me and my company, Alpha Car Collections. My other son, Reece, lives in Newcastle. When he wanted lessons, I felt it was worth him coming back to Blackpool to be taught by Shane. Again, Reece was through his lessons, and had a licence, in a really short space of time. Since then, he has managed to get himself a mechanics job, back in Newcastle. His licence has brought him many opportunities, and now I get to see him much more, as he can travel home to see me.

I would always recommend Weelz, and, in particular, Shane, as they did it as fast as they possibly could. This proved to me that they are not in it for the money, but for the results, and boosting their brand reputation. I thank them all, from myself, personally, but also from Alpha Car Collections, as it has made our workforce stronger. It has given us a much better availability, and put more of our trucks on the road. Its changed mine, and both of my sons, lives dramatically”

Richard and Reece were both taught by Weelz instructor Shane Brown, who is based at the south end of Blackpool, and knows Wayne personally. Here is what he had to say:

“I had always wanted to be an instructor, but at the same time, I’ve always been a bit of a petrol head , with cars such as Subaru’s. When I turned up at Wayne’s garage with a Ford Fiesta he was quite surprised. I told him I had bought it as I was training to be a driving instructor, and he decided there and then that I would be teaching Rick.

A few months had passed and I started with Weelz in the September, so Wayne instantly booked in Rick for his 17th birthday in the January. I had known Rick since he was about 12, but at that time, I had no idea I would be teaching him how to drive! We both worked hard, and decided to try and make him the first Millennium baby to pass. I don’t think Rick was expecting the process to be so fast, but 7 weeks later, Rick had a licence, and that was a great feeling. Rick had loads of confidence on test day, but Wayne, not so much. I don’t think he slept the night before Haha!

Wayne’s older son Reece, already had a road bike, but decided he wanted to drive to improve his job opportunities. When Wayne decided he wanted Reece to travel up to learn with me, the pressure was on! Reece, too, rose to the challenge though and got his licence. He now works full time as a mechanic, and Rick is driving for the family business.

I know they both appreciate, and will look after their licence, and have both remained safe and confident drivers. I thank them all for giving me the opportunity to have played such a big part in their lives. They have all thanked me personally, and I am very grateful that I am still, to this day, getting recommendations from them.”

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This week’s past pupil is Alina Prylipko, who is originally from the Ukraine, but now lives in Blackpool. Alina passed her driving test back in July of this year, after completing lessons with Weelz instructor, Kevin Cooper. We caught up with her some 5 months later to see how she found her lessons, and how she’s been doing since she became a full licence holder! Here’s what she had to say:

“I found out about Weelz Driving School from a search in one of the local Facebook groups. This school was recommended the most, and had the highest rankings. As soon as I dropped a message on Facebook, I was assigned an instructor and he called me shortly afterwards to introduce himself and arrange a first session.

I was 31 when I started my driving lessons, and I knew I would struggle, as situational awareness was always my issue. I was not nervous during my first lesson, but, being a foreigner, I was worried about terminology relating to cars and driving. Having shared this worry, my instructor asked me a few questions, and reassured me that I was going to be fine.

Kevin was great: He was not to pushy, gave me plenty of time and approached everything with calmness and experience. He was very reassuring and understanding. He referred to his experience and was always willing to accommodate any of my suggestions. Most importantly, he was also fun to spend a couple of hours with, so, apart from learning to drive, I always felt I had gone with a great company!

I passed my theory first time, as I was recommended a very good application to use by my instructor, and I studied for it a lot. The practical element, I passed on my second attempt, as the first time I got really stressed within the first few minutes. As with any test, the driving test is stressful, but looking back now, I think I had a great time whilst I was learning.

Now, being able to drive gives me lots of flexibility, even though I still wouldn’t say I’m one of those people who loves driving. I will always appreciate the value of the skill, and I would definitely recommend Weelz Driving School to all.”

Alina’s instructor, Kevin Cooper, who is based in Blackpool said:

“When I made the initial call to Alina and found out that English wasn’t her first language, I was a little sceptical at first. I needn’t have worried though, her English is probably better than mine!! She was a pleasure to teach, always enthusiastic, and very keen to learn. She even turned up to lessons with a notepad and pen, and a list of questions she wanted to know, regarding driving, or the theory test. She studied really hard and was determined that she would only sit the test when she felt ready. She did that, and she passed first time, with a very high score.

Alina will be the first to admit that she isn’t the best co-ordinated person in the world, so it was a bit of a struggle in the early stages for her to get the required co-ordination to drive a car. She would often be distracted by things like shop windows too! She told me, right from the start, that it would probably take her a little longer than most to learn, and that she was fine with that. To be fair, it probably did take a little bit longer, but, fair play to her, she persevered and now she has a full driving licence. I know that means a great deal to her, and makes it much easier in terms of getting to work, and getting around with her daughter. We do keep in touch to this day, which is always nice. Well Done Alina!”

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Sasha passed her driving test in August 2017, after completing driving lessons with Weelz instructor, Shane Brown. We caught up with Sasha just over a year later to find out how she found her driving lessons, and how she’s been getting on since she became a full licence holder. Here’s what Sasha had to say:

“Like many others, the idea of driving haunted my dreams. With the help of Weelz though, and my wonderful instructor, Shane, I finally managed to pass and have found driving to be a wonderful experience.

Driving, for me, was a way to get out and experience life more. I use it as a way to meet up with friends and family, I use it for work, and I find it really soothing to be able to just get in the car and drive off for a bit.

As always, the first lesson was scary, and I was very nervous, although driving with Shane, he quickly  made me feel safe and relaxed. If I was having a hard time, he would always cheer me up, making me laugh, whilst giving me time and supporting my progress. Even if I did get something wrong, he would make the time to go over it again and again, until I got it perfect. He was always there when I needed to ask questions, or advice, about driving.

The lessons will always be more relaxed and easier than the test of course, and yes, its weird sitting in a car with someone you aren’t used to, or comfortable with. Once you get the hang of driving though, it all starts to come naturally, and then, before you know it, you’ve passed!

The time I spent learning to drive was one of the happiest and fun things I’ve done, and Shane helped me to open up a whole new world of driving. I cannot thank him enough for the time he made for me or the experience I was given.”

Sasha’s instructor, Shane Brown, who is based up at the South Shore end of Blackpool, said:

“I am really pleased to have helped Sasha achieve her goal, and give her freedom to be out and about on the roads. Sasha was a great pupil to teach. I know she felt nerves on the test, but when she overcame them, she excelled, as I always knew that she would! Sasha has big plans for her future, which I believe she will achieve. She’ll go on to do great things.”

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We’re going back in time today to catch up with Felicity Kate Howell who passed her driving test with Weelz Driving School back in 2013. We caught up with Felicity almost 6 years later to say how she found her driving lessons, and how she’s been getting on with her full driving licence. Here’s what she had to say:

“I learnt to drive with Weelz when I was in my 30s. I was so scared, and the longer I left it, the worse it got! I, literally, had nothing to worry about. Learning with Weelz was informative, and I was made to feel at ease straight away. They took it at my pace and I was never made to feel like I needed to rush. I felt so comfortable, and even when I made mistakes, it was no big deal, it was all a learning curve.

Dale was an excellent instructor, he thoroughly explained everything and it was just one step at a time. His continuous bad jokes throughout my lessons allowed me to concentrate on the road, and his bad jokes, at the same time (No easy feat I can tell you!). The thought of learning to drive scared me to death, but Dale has this way of making you feel like extended family, so, by the time my test came round, I felt like I was completely in control. Yes, I was a little nervous, but I knew what to expect, fully, as Weelz really prepare you for it.

I can’t thank Weelz, and Dale, enough for their professional, yet friendly, service. Without Weelz I wouldn’t be able to travel for work the way I do now. My son turns 18 this year and I will be making sure he uses Weelz too. If you want to start that new chapter in your life, take the plunge. It’s never too late.”

Felicity’s instructor, the owner of Weelz Driving School, Dale Brooks said:

“It’s always a pleasure seeing someone achieve their goals and aims. Felicity was nervous, but then again, so is everyone who starts the journey of learning to drive. The buzz never leaves you of knowing you have been a small part of that person’s life.”