(Facebook, Think Pink)

An initiative launched in Nottingham to encourage more women to take up taxi driving could be extended to the rest of the UK.

Behind the Think Pink Project is Mary Storrie who also founded the Rosie May Foundation, a charity set up in memory of her daughter who was murdered 20 years ago.

For the last two decades the foundation strives to protect children in crisis and provide them with a positive future they deserve.

The aim for this project is to increase the number of female taxi drivers in the city to give nervous passengers an alternative to riding with male-only companies.

So far, in Nottingham, 18 female drivers have undergone training and been awarded taxi licences.

The charity previously supported children in Nepal to return to school after an earthquake.

Also, while Mary was in Sri Lanka, during the 2004 tsunami, she built an orphanage for children impacted by the devastation. Most of the children at the orphanage had come from single parent families who didn’t have enough money to care for them.

In 2016, Mary Storrie set up Think Pink’s first tuk-tuk programme in Sri Lanka, which was led by women, and aimed giving women independence and an income by teaching them how to drive.

Tuk-Tuks in Sri Lanka (Facebook, Think Pink)

 

Partnerships Manager for Think Pink, Nicola Brien, said, “We supplied them with pink tuk-tuks to enable them to economically empower themselves to give them enough money to look after their children and avoid making that heart-breaking decision to give their children to us (at the orphanage).”

Nicola Brien, Think Pink Partnerships Manager

“Not only did the programme benefit women by providing them with money and essentially resources to provide for their kids but it meant that children and women were now being transported safely.

“This has affected not hundreds of peoples lives but thousands of peoples lives through the drivers we have in Sri Lanka,” she added.

In early 2022, the Think Pink pilot was launched in Nottingham. The project aims has been to empower women across the East Midlands to access well paid and flexible work as well as providing a more appealing way of travelling for nervous passengers.

Back In 2021 Mary Storrie said, “We feel as though now the time is right to do this, especially on the back of what’s happened with Sarah Everard and because there’s a shortage of taxi drivers post-pandemic.”

Mary Storrie with Tuk-Tuks in Nottingham (creds: Think Pink)

The Think Pink Project has partnered up with Fleet Partners, one of which is DG cars.

Nicola Brien said, “As taxi driving is such a male dominated industry it’s not immediately a career women think of…but it poses an equally great opportunity to women as it does to men.

This project also aims to make female passengers feel safer but also goes against typical gender stereotypes in this industry.

“THIs has affected not hundreds of people’s lives but thousands of lives through the drivers we have in sri lanka”

nicola brien THINK PINK CORPORATE partnerships manager

 

The Project has an app for passengers to pre book journeys, and select a female driver.

“We know there’s huge demand for this across all age ranges, we currently have them in who are on contract who take school children to school, we operate and have contract with local women’s organisations and we know this is having a huge impact on women passengers,” said Nicola.

The project has sponsors that provide their services for free but also there can be “monetary donations which helps the initiative to continue to recruit, grow support and mentor those women in the foundation,” she added.

The project is supported through the Rosie May Foundation and all of the funds generated through Think Pink go back into protecting and empowering women.

We talked to women in Nottingham to see if they would use the Think Pink taxis. Here’s what they told us;

 

Organisers of the project now hope to expand to various cities across the UK.