A Shropshire woman who won a competition for free HGV driver training has passed her lorry test first time – saying the opportunity has set the wheels in motion for a range of possibilities in the future.

Lisa Ford, a mother-of-two from Wem, went along to the Shrewsbury Live event last year after seeing that driver training specialist Dulson Training was offering the chance for people to drive a lorry around the showground, with one lucky person winning the special prize at the end of the day.

The competition was aimed at raising awareness of the HGV industry and how it is an excellent career choice. Lisa was entered along with all the other people who took a test drive on the day and was shocked when her name was drawn out as the winner.

She took up her place on the driving course and, after spending time with her as she went through the process, Dulson Training offered her a job and Lisa now works in the company’s accounts department.

She said: “I come from an HGV background and my dad always said it would be a good idea to get my licence as I didn’t know when I might need it. I saw the competition advertised, thought that’s for me, went along and won the draw.

“It’s been incredible! Going through the course was fantastic, my trainer Trevor Roberts was superb and to top it all I passed my Category C HGV test first time. It’s a life skill that I will never be without and it opens up a lot of possibilities.

“We have two young children at the moment but in the future I could become a trainer or drive for a living if I want to. The course was a massive saving as everything connected with this training costs in the region of £1,600 to £2,000. So I was very fortunate to win the competition and have the opportunity to do it.

“The job in accounts with Dulson Training came up during my training course. It means I am also able to drive lorries around the yard and take them to and from mechanics and signwriters and so on as required – which is great.”

Steve Dulson, of Dulson Training, said: “Shrewsbury Live allowed us to open up the opportunity for anyone to have a go at driving a lorry. We had instructors on hand to take people for a drive around the showground in a controlled environment, get a feel for it and see if it was something that interested them.

“Whether they just wanted a go or had the intention of becoming a licence holder, it was a good experience. The competition was an idea we bounced around for a while and it was the first time we had linked a competition with an appearance at an event.

“The winner was drawn live in the arena and from there we made arrangements for Lisa to do her medical, provisional and theory tests and then the driving course and test – she passed everything and now has her HGV Category C licence.

“We are seeing more women coming into the industry and have received a lot of comments from local businesses on how fantastic it is that such a large volume of HGV learners now seem to be women. Every day we are seeing multiple women on site taking courses and tests.

“Lisa takes lorries out for us as required and will continue to do more of that. The competition was such a success last year that we held it again at this summer’s Shrewsbury Live event and we are just waiting on the winner, Ian Burgess from Stoke, to get in touch to fix up his training course.

“We are also holding an open day at our Roden head office on Saturday, August 13th from 10am until 2pm where anyone is welcome to attend. We will have competitions, the opportunity for people to drive a HGV and the chance for a chat with our team about the courses and training we provide.”

Dulson Training provides all types of training, including HGV, PCV, towing, driver CPC, forklift, First Aid, and ADR courses. For more information call Shrewsbury 01743 709611, Telford 01952 770659, Wrexham 01978 805868, or visit the website at https://www.dulsontraining.co.uk/

Pictured:  Lisa Ford from Wem with her training instructor from Dulson Training Trevor Roberts.