6th March 2022

A driving instructor sits in their car and wears a red nose for Comic Relief

A driving instructor has taken fundraising into his ride and launched a challenge to raise money for Red Nose Day, which returns on Friday 18th March.

Carlos Comendas, 44, from Erith in south east London, is encouraging his pupils to donate or to get sponsored every time they cross a roundabout during their hour-long lessons in aid of Comic Relief. He wants his driving instructor colleagues across the country to do the same with their pupils and help round up donations.

The challenge, dubbed ‘Red Roundabout Relief’, will take place from the 16th to 18th March to mark both Driving Instructor Day and Red Nose Day.

With the driving instructor community stretching far and wide across the nation, Carlos hopes the idea will unite his colleagues across the UK, spread a smile for a good cause and share the wheel good factor with all those who get involved.

He said: “The reason why I want to do this is because as a driving instructor I see and talk to people from so many different backgrounds and I have had a first-hand view on how the pandemic has dramatically impacted and changed people in the last two years.

“Comic Relief works towards to support people around a few issues which is very close to my heart. I’m proud to have the opportunity to raise money for such a worthy organisation that can make a real, positive impact to the lives of those I encounter daily.”

Carlos hopes the challenge will result in donations from other driving instructors, as well as their pupils. But he is keen to encourage anyone who can donate to also chip in and support Red Nose Day.

This year is the first time Driving Instructor Day will be celebrated in the UK. The 16th March awareness day was founded on the reported date of the first ever driving test to be passed in the UK. Mr J. Beene secured the first qualification back in 1935 when the test was voluntary and cost just seven shillings and sixpence – roughly £22 in today’s money.

Money raised by Red Nose Day will help people in the UK and around the world live free from poverty, violence and discrimination, and support people with their mental health. Donations will also help to fund organisations providing essential support for people in Ukraine affected by the terrifying conflict and the mass displacement of people in many parts of the world.

Samir Patel, Chief Executive of Comic Relief, says: “What’s so special about Red Nose Day is that it brings people from all over the UK together to make a big difference. We are so thankful for the incredible support from our fundraisers because whatever you do, big or small, helps people live free from poverty, violence and discrimination.

“This includes funding organisations that are supporting people right now in Ukraine, and on the borders. So whether you buy a Red Nose, bake cakes, smash a challenge or simply pick up the phone to donate, you have the power to change lives across the world and in the UK.”