Carlton Colville school gets new minibus

IT may have been a grey old day.

But the arrival of a Sunshine Bus brought smiles to the faces of staff and pupils at Warren School, Carlton Colville.

The new minibus, which has wheelchair access and can seat 16 children, was presented to the school last Thursday by the children's charity Variety Club, and it has already taken pupils on several sporting trips.

To secure the vehicle, the school had to raise half the �31,500 purchase price – and this prompted a frantic but fun-packed 18 months of fundraising involving pupils, staff, parents and local supporters.

The pupils showed off their sporting skills by doing sponsored swims and bike rides while keen footballers took part in a goal-scoring contest. Some parents then took the plunge by doing a parachute jump.

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Local rotary club members and bikers also joined the fundraising effort to help replace the school's old minibus which was on its last legs. The other half of the money came from sponsorship through the Variety Club.

Dee Moxon, Warren School headteacher, said the minibus was proving a hit with her 107 pupils, who are aged between three and 19. She said: 'The children seem to love it and it is a great drive. It is real boost to the school.

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'When our old bus conked out we became a bit desperate but then we got in contact with the Variety Club. They told us that if we raised half the money for a new minibus then they would find the other half. We raised the money in about 18 months. It was amazing how people supported us.'

Mrs Moxon said the school hoped to run a competition to name the bus as part of an event for Children in Need.

The Variety Club has handed over 5,000 Sunshine buses since 1952 and it is estimated that they have covered a combined distance of 350m miles taking children and young people on trips and activities.

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