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Keighley school is drumming up support for minibus
Life for a Keighley special school could be transformed, if a fundraising appeal is a success.
Phoenix School in Braithwaite Avenue needs to buy a specially-adapted minibus to cater for its pupils who use wheelchairs.
It is when the pupils, who have special and additional needs, go out on trips that staff currently face a barrier. About one-third of the school’s 65 pupils use wheelchairs, but the existing 16-seat minibus is not able to carry them.
School community co-ordinator, Jason Patefield said: “We take groups out every day but we can’t always hire an adapted vehicle so the less able-bodied pupils are missing out. When we do hire a minibus it costs anything from about £40 to £70 a session. To have our own adapted vehicle, with removable seats and a tail-lift, would make a huge difference.”
Trips include weekly term-time swimming sessions and outings across the year to venues ranging from parks to supermarkets.
The school, which caters for youngsters aged two to 11, needs to raise £17,000 for the adapted minibus.
It has so far raised about £12,000 with events including jumble sales, fairs and discos.
The total to date also includes £2,000 from the Duke of Devonshire’s Charitable Trust and £3,000 from the Bruce Wake Charitable Trust.
Fundraisers in the pipeline include a Valentine’s disco next month and a summer fair in June.
Once the school reaches its £17,000 target, it can be included on a Variety Club 12-month waiting list for the new bus.
The Variety Club then finds a sponsor for the remaining cost of the vehicle.
Anyone, individuals or companies, able to support the appeal can contact Mr Patefield at the school on (01535) 607038 or Phxjp1@phx.bradford.sch.uk.
Also, donations can be paid directly into a Friends of Phoenix Special School account at NatWest in Keighley, sort code 53-61-30, account number 64733718.