This Australian grandma is truly driven to protect other women.
Kathy Raydings, affectionately known as “Grandma Uber,” drives for the transportation service while carrying out her important personal mission of keeping women safe.
“It’s every young woman’s right to have fun, be young and enjoy life,” Raydings, who picks up about 480-500 male and female passengers a week, told ABC News. “This should be possible for them without the risk of deviant, ill-intentioned drivers taking advantage of their youth and intoxicated state in a negative way.”
Uber itself has made headlines in the past with regard to sexual violence. The company told BuzzFeed News that between December 2012 and August 2015, its drivers received five claims of rape, and 170 claims of sexual assault.
In order to connect with women in need of a ride and make sure they have a safe ride home, Raydings shares her driving schedule as well as her contact details on her Facebook page. And not only are passengers guaranteed a safe ride, but they’re also treated to sweets, beverages, and other homemade goodies, 7 News Brisbane points out. Of course, riders can also dish about the latest in their lives without judgment.
“Passengers can sit on their ride home and talk about their boy problems like she’s their grandma,” passenger Amy O’Farrell told 9news.com.au.
While the riders have a fun time while staying away from danger, Raydings, who initially started driving following a work accident that led her to leave her previous job, told ABC News that she definitely benefits from the experience as well.
“I go to bed at night knowing that I am making some small, positive difference to these girls’ lives,” she told the outlet. “It’s the best feeling in the whole world.”
Since starting her Uber gig, the driver’s safety-focused rides have picked up quite a bit of attention ― so much so that Raydings has begun recruiting others to join her mission and help get girls back home safe.
“They’ll obviously need to get their Uber approval and credentials, but then drive under the Grandma Uber banner and logo,” she told HuffPost Australia. “We’ll dress up their cars with stickers so the girls will recognize that it’s another Grandma Uber.”
Editor’s Note: The Huffington Post’s Co-Founder Arianna Huffington is a member of Uber’s board of directors, and has recused herself from any involvement in the site’s coverage of the company.