Ellen Tamilla from Udrive West Wales shares the heartwarming story of her friendship with a homeless young man named STIG.

“I first met STIG in December of 2019.

“STIG came to me through a local charity Homeless Pembrokeshire. STIG had, until very recently been homeless from around the age of 15 and living in a tent in fields and woods with his best mate, “Vinnie”, the smiling staffy.

“In 2018, STIG had sent a message to Homeless Pembrokeshire struggling with all aspects of life, no home, no money and was suffering with low mood and had suicidal thoughts as he didn’t think he had anything or anyone to live for. Amanda from Homeless Pembrokeshire took him to A&E and sat with him for 12 hours for him to have a Mental Health Assessment. From then on, the charity helped him source a home and guided him to receive financial help.

“STIG is car mad and always dreamed of being able to drive. He came with enough money for 4 lessons that the charity had raised for him to learn to drive. On meeting with Amanda and STIG, I could see the smile on his face and he was a natural from day 1. He warmed my heart and I wanted to help. I offered to get him through his theory test, driver training and practical driving test free of charge.

“I could see the potential in this young man and by god, he so rightly deserved a break in life. When I told him this, he started to get extremely emotional and said “Nobody has done anything like this for me, I can’t thank you enough.”

“Theory test was sat and absolutely smashed with very high scores on his 1st attempt. This showed me his desire, determination and commitment to learn.

“The driving training continued and this is when STIG met with Jill Lewis ADI, who also wanted to help him achieve this goal as the benefits of a driving licence would certainly improve his future. Between us we got STIG to test standard but more importantly a safe driver.  A kind lady called Faith was also following the updates of his training and wanted to help him – Faith donated 4 hours of driving training for him which paid towards his tests.

“Last week, on 21st August 2020, STIG made his first attempt at the Practical Driving Test and I am very pleased and extremely proud to tell you that he absolutely nailed it coming away with a full driving licence and just 2 driver faults. STIG was over the moon and both he and I were crying, all happy tears. The examiner was then told of his past and was very moved and proud to have been a part of his journey.

“STIG’s next ambition is to achieve his CBT with motorbikes, and Neil Owen from Podium has kindly offered to help him gain this next goal.

“Jill & I are very pleased he’s passed but also a little sad that he won’t be with us for any more lessons.  I assured him, as did Jill, we were always here for him and this wouldn’t end now, it’s not the end…this is the beginning.  I also offered STIG the chance of doing the Pass Plus at a later date, which he has agreed to.

“STIG has taught me so much also, I feel very humbled on his outlook of life considering the awful and traumatic events that have happened to him in his early years. He is the most pleasant, polite, genuine, trustworthy and reliable young man I’ve met – an absolute diamond.  Our team are so proud of him.

“Here’s to your future STIG – it’s now looking a lot brighter.  Stay safe and enjoy your new lease of life.  We are all extremely proud of you and happy for you.”