Ray of Sunshine for youngsters

Sir John Hall presents the keys
Sir John Hall presents the keys

TWO worthy causes have been put on the road after receiving a boost from a national charity.

Springwell School, in Hartlepool, and Hartlepool Families First have been presented with a minibus to get youngsters out and about.

Sir John Hall presented the sky-blue Transit van, which will be shared between the Wiltshire Way-based special school and the Greatham Street-based charity, during a special ceremony at his Wynyard Hall residence, on the outskirts of town.

Sir John handed over the new bus on behalf of The Variety Club, which he supports.

The vehicle, called a Sunshine Coach, is custom-designed and fitted to meet the groups’ needs.

Springwell School headteacher Karl Telfer said: “It can be difficult to arrange suitable transport for many of our classes when we want to travel, but this has now been resolved with the arrival of the Sunshine Coach.

“The pupils can’t wait to have their first ride in their own bus, and we can’t thank the Variety Club and their supporters enough for their generosity.”

Paul Thompson, manager of Families First, said: “This is an absolutely fantastic gift. It will make a huge difference to the way we can operate and be so beneficial to the youngsters we help.”

Variety Club Northern region chairman Tony Thornton added: “Providing a Sunshine Coach to deserving organisations like these is always a very happy occasion and we are delighted to be able to make this presentation to two very worthy causes.”

The coach joins a fleet of more than 5,000 similar charity vehicles that have hit the road since 1962.