An old Stagecoach bus that was recently transformed into a learning zone for pupils of Hadrian School in Newcastle has been officially opened by the Lord Mayor of Newcastle, David Cook.
Stagecoach North East were approached by Hadrian School for the possibility of acquiring an old bus that was no longer in service, and the local bus operator was more than happy to get involved with the project by donating a decommissioned bus that would usually be scrapped.
Hadrian School caters for the needs of pupils aged between two and eleven years with a range of additional needs, such as complex or severe learning difficulties. The Lord Mayor attended Hadrian School on Monday 10 February to see the bus, which now has heating and lighting installed, as well as electrics to enable the use of laptops and a television screen.
Stagecoach and Hadrian School were brought together by The Chronicle Sunshine Fund, a North East based charity enhancing the lives of disabled children and their families in the region by providing equipment to suit their specialist needs.
Marian Stokle, Deputy Head Teacher at Hadrian School, said: "Hadrian School are extremely grateful to Stagecoach and the Sunshine Fund for the donation of our very own bus! The children were thrilled and excited to see it in situ in one of our play areas on their return to school following the Christmas break.
"Staff intend to use the bus in several ways, including as an outdoor classroom where lessons on life skills can be carried out in a safe and realistic setting, learning about independent travel, money and communicating with others. We also have plans to create a role play area where children can have great fun together."
Engineering Manager Lee Mutch from Stagecoach North East's Slatyford depot in Newcastle assisted with the project and installed purpose-built tables on board the bus. Lee was delighted to hand over the bus to the pupils, with the help of Alpha Recovery who arranged the safe transit of the vehicle onto the school grounds.
Lee said: “We always try our best to support projects which will benefit the local community and it feels brilliant that we are helping to make a real difference to so many youngsters at Hadrian School.
“Being able to lend a helping hand to community projects like a new educational resource for a school on our doorstep is always important, especially when it comes to youth learning and development.”