Cruising for a Cause – The Children in Need Big Learner Relay


On Sunday the 1st of November I took part in The Big Learner Relay with my learner Anna. This event was part of a fundraising drive for Children in Need and involved driving instructors and students from across the country helping to raise money for an amazing cause.

From all over England and Northern Ireland, we came together to drive different legs of the relay, passing a Big Learner Relay Top Box from one car to the next. In total we covered more than 3,000 miles in 15 days with 180 lead driving instructors and pupils taking part.

The route began with two separate sections; one in Northern Ireland and the other on the Isle of White, both on Monday October 26th. The relay then moved to its main section on the England mainland on Friday October 30th, finishing in Swindon on November 13th, the Children in Need Appeal Day.

The leg that Anna and I drove, alongside a group of other instructors and pupils, was from Sandon Park and Ride to the Sainsbury’s in Colchester. From there the relay went on to Ipswich and then Diss. My car was covered with the trademark Children In Need spots that had been signed by people who sponsored our journey.

We were hoping to continue the success of last year’s relay, which did an amazing job. They were originally aiming to raise £5,000 but ended up with an incredible £65,500! The last time I checked, the 18th of November, we’d managed to do an amazing job again this year with the total at £94,628, including gift aid.

It was a great day for an amazing cause, whilst also giving Anna some valuable driving experience. It was by no means perfect driving conditions, being both dark and foggy, but she did a brilliant job and we had a great time.

If you’d like to donate, it’s not too late, simply text pass65 + amount to 70070. Even the smallest amount goes a long way to making a big difference.