FORMER Formula One racing world champion Jody Scheckter, who runs Laverstoke Park Farm at Overton, was on hand to present awards at a local driving awareness scheme.

Hampshire’s MiDAS minibus drivers were recognised at an event in Basingstoke at the Minibus Driver Awareness Scheme (MiDAS) Driver of the Year 2014 competition at Hampshire Court Hotel, in Chineham.

The MiDAS initiative, now celebrating its 20th year, ensures that volunteers and staff that may drive a minibus in their community or for an organisation or school, receive appropriate training and develop the necessary skills needed to drive the vehicle as well as looking out for the well-being of minibus passengers.

Drivers are nominated for the awards by their organisations and have to pass a driving assessment in the heats to get through to the final, during which the drivers are tested again on their driving skills.

All the finalists were presented with certificates.

Councillor Seán Woodward, Hampshire County Council’s executive member for economy, transport and environment said: “I wholeheartedly congratulate the winner of the MiDAS Driver of the Year 2014 competition.

“I hope people came away from the event feeling more informed and therefore able to make the best decisions for their organisations in terms of the operation of their minibuses.

“Access to a minibus can make a great difference to all sorts of people, and are used for a huge variety of journeys, from school trips to regular transport for older people in rural communities.”

For more information about the event and how to get involved, visit the website: hants.