DRIVING mentor Phil Waters was close to having his first student go for their licence when pandemic restrictions hit.
Still keen to help others as best he can behind the wheel, Mr Waters has started delivering Food Bank parcels to the city's needy.
The Ballarat Foundation has made a shift in gears for its L2P program, which is in suspension, calling on mentors to help in food deliveries in a partnership with Ballarat Community Health and City of Ballarat. This project has been made possible in a redistribution of funds from the Feed Ballarat Appeal and a BCH program, also in lockdown.
Mr Waters, who works full-time, said he had the time available and was happy to help.
He first became involved with The Ballarat Foundation two years ago because he felt compelled to find a way to contribute to his community.
"I used to volunteer through my kids, at school or in sport, but one day you find the kids are grown up," Mr Waters said.
"This was a great opportunity to influence kids who might otherwise struggle for opportunities to learn to drive. I enjoyed teaching my kids how to drive and I've enjoyed this.
"...I actually look at it as the same as teaching my own kids - you take from from nothing and hand them over as an accomplished driver."
This was a great opportunity to influence kids who might otherwise struggle for opportunities to learn to drive.Phil Waters, The Ballarat Foundation L2P mentor
The Ballarat Foundation youth programs manager Stacey Oliver said National Volunteers Week was a great way to highlight how volunteering came in many different forms.
For an organisation that heavily relies on volunteers, Ms Oliver said people like Mr Waters were invaluable and particularly during the pandemic.
"Their passion for the community enables them to still support the community in a different way," Ms Oliver said."We can harness that passion and use it for immediate needs."
All The Ballarat Foundation's volunteer programs are in suspension during COVID-19 restrictions. The Foundation launched the food drop last week.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Have you signed up to The Courier's variety of news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.