Staff at local bus operator Stagecoach North East in Sunderland helped to drive forward the environmental agenda as part of the company’s annual Green Week campaign, visiting a local primary school with a gas bus to talk to the pupils.
16 pupils, aged 11 to 15 years old, from Barbara Priestman Academy in Sunderland enjoyed a visit by bus drivers Wayne Doran and Billy Low and a gas bus as part of the week-long activities.
The young eco warriors learned about the green energy that modern gas buses use, with the latest in ‘eco’ technology taking passengers all across Sunderland, and how they help to improve the environment that they live in, and were then treated to a trip around the town on the gas bus.
The youngsters were able to explore the bus, and took turns to be bus drivers, sitting in the driver’s seat and tooting the very loud horn! The drivers also brought some green goodies for the pupils, including bags and pens made from recycled materials.
12-year-old Ben, a pupil at Barbara Priestman Academy, said: "I loved the bus and I got to sit in the driver’s seat and bleep the horn."
Alex Field, Head of Humanities at Barbara Priestman Academy said, "The students enjoyed the experience of exploring a bus, hearing about how bus companies operate and how important eco-friendly fuels are to our world. They really liked being able to press the bell and make the bus stop. The final highlight was a goody bag given out by the ‘eco emu’ - great experience, thank you to Stagecoach.”
To end the week of energy saving and environmentally friendly promotions and activities, the company offered healthy snacks to all staff for ‘Fruity Friday’, so they could enjoy a healthy treat throughout the day, with the peelings and cores composted.
Laura Smith, Operations Manager at the Stagecoach depot in Sunderland, said: “We were delighted to be able to show the children how the ‘green’ bus works and help them explore the bus, which they enjoyed very much.
“Stagecoach’s annual Green Week is an important awareness campaign which we are keen to support in our local community, and visiting the school offers a great opportunity to encourage youngsters to think ‘green’, as well as having a good time. ‘Fruity Friday’ is also a fun way of encouraging healthy eating and the gesture is always appreciated by the staff.”
Schools in the area were also sent activity sheets to complete during half term. The company encouraged the young ‘eco warriors’ with a list of tasks; including describing and drawing a ‘green’ activity they did and complete a Green Week word search.
This year the Green Week theme was ‘Delivering Solutions’, which called for tougher action on air quality to protect local communities across Britain.