New minibus for Hartlepool special school thanks to two years of fundraising

Paul Gough hands over the keys of a new mini bus on behalf of the Variety Club GB to Z�e Westley, head teacher of Springwell School, Hartlepool. Picture: TOM BANKS
Paul Gough hands over the keys of a new mini bus on behalf of the Variety Club GB to Z�e Westley, head teacher of Springwell School, Hartlepool. Picture: TOM BANKS

Pupils at a Hartlepool school are delighted to be taking to the streets in their brand new wheels.

The youngsters at Springwell School have been presented with a new minibus to help get them around.

Paul Gough hands over the keys of a new mini bus on behalf of the Variety Club GB to Z�e Westley, head teacher of Springwell School, Hartlepool. Picture: TOM BANKS

Paul Gough hands over the keys of a new mini bus on behalf of the Variety Club GB to Z�e Westley, head teacher of Springwell School, Hartlepool. Picture: TOM BANKS

Staff, parents, pupils and the community at the Wiltshire Way school had spent the past two years fundraising and managed to raise £13,000 towards the new minibus.

Children’s charity, Variety, stepped in with the remaining funds to buy the £40,000 vehicle, and BBC Tees radio presenter Paul “Goffy” Gough went along to present it to the school.

Deputy headteacher, Mark Hillan, said they would probably never have raised enough money to buy a new bus and are very grateful to the charity for all its help.

The children, who are aged from five to 11 years old have a huge range of special needs, from behavoural issues through to those with profound and multiple needs.

Our buses are really, really well used

Mark Hillan

And, the two minibuses are used every day to make sure the children access the best education they can.

Mr Hillan, said: “Our buses are really, really well used.

“The nature of our kids is special needs, so we do a lot of learning outside the classroom.”

He said to work on their life skills the young people regularly take trips to a number of places around the town and further afield, including shops.

The deputy headteacher said: “Without our buses we really couldn’t deliver the best possible education for their needs.

“They are an essential thing for us to have.

“We are really grateful to the Variety Club for supporting us and providing the minibus.”

After 12 years on the road, the old minibus was on its last legs.

Now, the children have a brand new vehicle, to run alongside their other minibus, which is six years old and was also bought for them by the Variety Club.

Variety is a charity which aims to improve the lives of children and young people throughout the UK who are sick, disabled or disadvantaged.

The charity provides minibuses and coaches, as well as bespoke wheelchairs and specialist, sensory and recreational equipment.

It donates items to a range of places including a child’s home, schools, hospitals and youth centres.

The charity also crates memorable experiences for children and young people by organising special days out.