“Over the past 20 years, Hartlepool Families First has operated a PlayBus across the town and enjoyed working with over 6,500 children every year.
We came very close to not being able to continue doing so due to the state of our previous vehicle, its technical difficulties and our lack of funding to replace or repair it.
We were therefore delighted when the Hartlepool Mail offered to help with the appeal.
We have been absolutely overwhelmed by the generosity that Mail readers and local businesses have shown towards the Buy A Bus Appeal.
Even during these financially difficult times, you have made the dream of a brand new PlayBus a reality. Whether you have made a donation of £1 or £2,000, every penny of your money has been used wisely to make sure that we can continue to provide our service for many years to come.
I think that I am stopped on a daily basis (if not more) and asked when the new bus will be here.
Children and families really are excited at what is coming and rightly so.
The new bus is smart, warm, safe, boasts new technologies and even has a toilet!
I really have to thank Paul Watson (Head of News at Hartlepool Mail) and Joy Yates (editor) for their entire and unequivocal support during this campaign.
I, along with future generations of children across Hartlepool, are indebted to you both for the time, commitment and coverage that you have given the cause.
It is fair to say that it would have taken a great deal longer to reach this conclusion without your assistance.
Thank you both and thanks to everyone who supported and backed
the PlayBus appeal.”
Hartlepool Families First manager