A YOUNG carer is on the road to passing her driving test thanks to a big-hearted local instructor.

Amy Wade is learning to drive for free following a kind offer made to Inverclyde Carers' Centre by Raymond McElroy.

The young mum looks after her daughter Gracie, four, who has additional support needs, and also holds down a college course.

Amy, 22, from Larkfield, said: "I need lessons and this has given me the push I needed to do it.

"It means I will be able to take my daughter to all her hospital appointments.

"I would have probably put it off because of lack of confidence but now I've got the opportunity I 'm going to take it."

Raymond, 62, and his wife Kathleen cared for their elderly parents and say they wanted to do something to ease the load of someone else who looks after a loved one.

He said: "Both my wife Kathleen and I know the time it takes to look after a loved one.

"Now we have a bit more time we thought we could help make someone else's life easier.

"It was Kathleen's idea to offer driving lessons to a young carer.

"The carers' centre has been great and went through a rigorous selection process to choose the right person."

Raymond, of Wemyss Bay, has been taking lessons for five years and his school is called A8 Driving.

He said Amy has been out on a couple of lessons and is finding her feet.

Raymond said: "Amy's really enthusiastic, she's doing great."

"I just wanted to give something back to the community.

"It only means an extra couple of hours of week to me but hopefully it can make a big difference to somebody else."

A spokesperson for Inverclyde Carers' Centre said: "Our youth worker Stacey Gillen was contacted by A8 Driving School to offer a young carer the opportunity off free lessons.

"Young adult carers are juggling being a young person and a carer, and to be able to drive can make such a positive change to them and their cared for.

"This will now enable our young adult carer to combine caring with the opportunity to access social and leisure opportunists.

"Driving will also eliminate the worry and stress of time restraints of returning home using public transport.

"We send our sincere thanks to Raymond for making this offer to our centre and one of our young adult carers."