A new coach which will provide transport for children with a wide range of additional support needs has been presented to a school in Cumbernauld.
The Sunshine Coach, provided by children’s charity Variety, has been funded by St. James’s Place Foundation and was gifted to pupils at Glencryan School recently.
The coach was presented to students by special guest Murdo MacLeod, former professional footballer for clubs including Celtic and Borussia Dortumund and former manager of Dumbarton.
Glencryan School caters for 158 children age 5 to 19 with a wide range of additional support needs, including: physical disabilities, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Autism, Global Developmental delay, Chromosome Disorders, Multiple Sclerosis, Epilepsy, Social and Emotional needs, and many other complex and significant needs. Within the school there are four young people who must travel in their wheelchairs and others have difficulties with their physical mobility.
The Sunshine Coach was donated by St. James’s Place Foundation, which has pledged £340,000 to part-fund up to 20 life-changing coaches across the UK. St. James’s Place Foundation have long been supporters of Variety and their Sunshine Coach programme. Between 2002 and 2005, St. James’s Place Foundation donated an incredible 17 sunshine coaches to schools nationwide.
Mark Longbottom, head of the St. James’s Place Foundation, said: “The St. James’s Place Foundation is a proud supporter of Variety and together we are committed to improving the lives of children and young people, especially those who face significant challenges in life.”
Colleen Ettridge, head of fundraising at Variety, the children’s charity, said: “We are delighted the children of Glencryan School have received their new Sunshine Coach. I know it will make a massive difference to the lives of the students.”
Laura Rowe, headteacher at Glencryan School, said: “We are very grateful to Variety and St. James’s Place Foundation for their donation. The students at Glencryan School rely on a coach in order to experience a wider curriculum, enhanced experience and equity of opportunity. The new coach will be used every day to enable the children to access a variety of educational, social and leisure trips and activities, to go beyond the school environment and extend the pupils’ learning experiences and their integration into the community.”