Excited pupils and staff at Roddensvale School in Larne received a brand new Sunshine coach as part of a match-funded scheme from the Variety Club.
Mr Trevor Green and family generously donated half the cost of the bus and the school provided the rest under the scheme.
Principal John Madden said: “We are extremely grateful to Mr Green and his family for thinking of us and kindly providing the financial assistance we needed to buy a mini bus for the children.
“Staff have signed up to be insured to drive this much-needed extension to our flexibility in meeting the pupils needs at Roddensvale. The bus will be in immediate use next week transporting those pupils attending a four-day outdoor pursuits residential in Bushmills. It has a tail lift so those pupils in wheelchairs can also use the bus.
As part of the school curriculum, pupils take part in the Duke of Edinburgh trips, choir outings, trips to the donkey sanctuary, supported work placements and career days out in addition to attending many different sports events all around the Province. The addition of a Roddensvale mini bus will give the school much more scope and independence with regard to these visits and many other possible opportunities.
Speaking about the arrival of the bus at Roddensvale, one of the pupils said: “It was great to see our new bus arrive at Roddensvale School today. I like going out on the bus and this will help us to get to all the places we enjoy. I have learnt about being fit and active at school and I hope the bus can take us to the park and the leisure centre whenever we can go. I like the new bus with its new wheels and lift for my friends in wheelchairs. I cannot wait to go and see the donkeys in our new bus next week.”
Children and staff spent a long time exploring the bus and even trying out some of the features – the horn and the tail lift were big hits! Photographs were taken and pupils wrote ‘thank you’ cards and letters to Mr Green and family acknowledging their kindness and explaining how they would enjoy using the bus.
Mr Green’s generosity and that of the stakeholders at Roddensvale in providing the Sunshine coach from the Variety Club is much appreciated by governors and all associated with the school.