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As we approach the end of another calendar year it is reassuring to know that the Group is well placed for the coming year. We have had three full courses this year and the Associates who joined our Autumn Course are now waiting for their tests. We will have only one or two Associates that are continuing onto our Winter Course starting early January. The Group has been able to streamline its admin activities, with new web based forms and information for Associates and Observers, a shorter but more web content loaded bi-monthly newsletter and a web based ‘notice board’ which is more frequently updated.
As mentioned previously, all of our Observers are now Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) qualified having achieved Local Observer or National Observer status. The Group has been participating in a trial of ‘Group-sign’ off with Associate Mark Grove. At the time of writing this is in its final stages and I will provide more information about this later. A new method for providing written feedback to Associates has been developed from this trial in consultation with Area Service Delivery Manager Steve Ellis. This new approach will soon be communicated to all the Observers so that it will become our standard as we enter 2018.
The Group has significantly increased the amount of promotional activities over the last 12 months. Jim Cunliffe, Anita Clift and Martin Brady have all given presentations to Senior Road User Meetings across Merseyside. This intensity has been paying off with an increase in the number of Senior Road Users participating in our Advanced Driver Course. We initially discounted the course for those aged 60+ from Group funds but the need for this was removed following a donation for this purpose.
A promising end to the year was a road safety event at the St. Helens College that Alica Moore and I attended to represent SHGAM. St. Helens Fire and Rescue were also in attendance and one of their crews demonstrated how cars are ‘opened up’ to extract victims of road traffic collisions. Very impressive! Managers at the college are very supportive of our desire to help young drivers, the most vulnerable age group, and we hope to develop this relationship in 2018.
It just remains for me to wish you all a happy and safe Christmas and New Year.