Charity donates wheelchair-accessible minibus to Welwyn Garden City school

PUBLISHED: 09:59 13 November 2017 | UPDATED: 09:59 13 November 2017

Pupils, staff, representatives of the Lord�s Taverners and The Game Fair, Lord Salisbury and Chris Ryan. Picture credit: Chris Walker.

Pupils, staff, representatives of the Lord�s Taverners and The Game Fair, Lord Salisbury and Chris Ryan. Picture credit: Chris Walker.

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A Welwyn Garden City school that caters for youngsters with learning difficulties received a specialist mini bus thanks to help from a charity.

The pupils were thrilled to receive the new minibus. Picture credit: Chris Walker.The pupils were thrilled to receive the new minibus. Picture credit: Chris Walker.

Lakeside School was given the new wheelchair-accessible vehicle thanks to the Lord’s Taverners, which raised £15k towards the cause at Hatfield’s The Game Fair in the summer.

Lord Salisbury and captain of Team GB’s wheelchair rugby team, Chris Ryan, were both on-hand at the presentation last week.

Lakeside School headteacher Judith Chamberlain said: “We are very grateful to the Lord’s Taverners and The Game Fair for providing us with this minibus.

“Because of the complexities of their needs our pupils are not able to use public transport, so our minibuses are vital to ensure our pupils can engage in a variety of activities off site which enrich their education.”

The Game Fair Managing Director James Gower with staff, children and the bus. Picture credit: Chris Walker.The Game Fair Managing Director James Gower with staff, children and the bus. Picture credit: Chris Walker.

Lakeside School caters for 70 young people aged two to 19 with severe, profound and multiple learning difficulties and autism. Approximately a third of the school’s pupils have significant disabilities, with 20 being wheelchair users.

The new 16-seat minibus is essential for giving its pupils access to the local community to attend weekly swimming lessons, football and boccia matches, and work experience opportunities.

Paul Robin, Lord’s Taverner’s chief executive, added: “The Lord’s Taverners believes that sport and recreation are essential for all young people, regardless of ability or background.

“This minibus will help the children to get out and enjoy new places and experiences in Hertfordshire and beyond. We are proud to support the staff, parents and young people of Lakeside School.”

Since 1976, the charity has placed over 1,150 accessible minibuses across schools in the UK.

James Gower, managing director of The Game Fair, added: “Each year we select an official charity to support and partner with.

“We are immensely proud to have worked alongside the Lord’s Taverners to provide vital support, enriching the lives of pupils at Lakeside School in Hertfordshire.

“Thank you to all of the visitors to The Game Fair 2017 who helped raise funds to support the valuable work that the Lord’s Taverners carry out.”

The charity will donate over £4million this year to help give disadvantaged and disabled young people a ‘sporting chance’.

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