New mini bus for Chapel Road School in Attleborough

Children at a Norfolk special school celebrated the arrival of a new mini bus which was launched with the help of television personality Trisha Goddard.

The presenter visited Chapel Road School in Attleborough on Friday to welcome the arrival of the 17-seater vehicle which was presented by children's charity, the Variety Club.

The school, which teaches children with complex educational needs, will use the mini bus to take youngsters on educational day trips.

Ms Goddard, who joined pupils for a special celebratory assembly, said she was 'amazed' by the spirit of teachers and staff.

'I've been amazed by what's been done with comparatively so little. The involvement of all the people in getting this bus here is great,' she said.

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Following a request from the school for a new mini bus, the Variety Club approached the De Vere hotel chain for sponsorship.

The company donated more than half the cost of the vehicle - which totalled about �36,000 - while the Friends of Chapel Road School raised the remaining amount.

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Denis McEvoy, general manager of De Vere hotel Dunston Hall, near Norwich, said its 330 staff members had been fundraising for the Variety Club for two and a half years and had raised about �30,000 so far.

On his visit to the school, he said: 'It's very humbling to see what they do. What strikes me is how positive everyone is and how the children are really looking forward to going on educational trips. It's fantastic to see.'

Deputy headteacher John Kirk said the mini bus would provide children with vital learning opportunities outside of the classroom.

'You can't understand how important it is for our youngsters to be in the community where they can learn best about real life,' he said.

'Our youngsters do not transfer learning very easily but in the community they can use their money skills and develop their road safety skills which is really important.'

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