Two youngsters from a special school in Kirkby are proud to call themselves independent travellers after receiving awards from a scheme to boost their self-esteem.
The scheme, run by Nottinghamshire County Council, helped more than 80 pupils from across the county to adopt skills needed to make their own way from home to school or college each day.
The skills included getting on and off public transport, identifying hazards and using landmarks to make the journey safely.
Fourteen-year-olds Freya Gilmartin and Alfy Johnson, who go to Bracken Hill School, passed with flying colours, and received certificates in a ceremony at County Hall, watched by parents and school staff.
Freya said: “The scheme boosted my confidence a lot. I used to be afraid to go out on my own, but last week, I walked from school to a nearby tea room for a cake and a milkshake. I would never have been able to do that before completing this programme.”
Alfy said: “I am now more independent. Someone used to have to come with me wherever I went, but now I really enjoy going on nature walks on my own or into town to meet my friends.”
The council hopes the ‘independent traveller’ scheme will help the youngsters’ chances of gaining employement when they leave school.
Freya’s mum, Kim, said: “It has given her the tools to see and explore the world through her own eyes and experiences. It is a lifelong skill to improve her quality of life.”