Denby school gets new minibus after builders’ merchants charity drive

The Builders' Merchants Federation and the charity Variety have presented a new Sunshine Coach to John Flamsteed School in Denby.
The Builders' Merchants Federation and the charity Variety have presented a new Sunshine Coach to John Flamsteed School in Denby.

A team of builders’ merchants has delivered a new minibus to a Denby school after completing a fundraising rally to Monte Carlo last month.

Members of the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) handed over the keys for the new Variety Sunshine Coach to staff from John Flamsteed Community School, on Thursday, September 27.

Headteacher Lisa Walton said: “The new coach will make a significant change to the opportunities that we can offer our students, but especially those for whom access to off-site activities can be difficult.

“I would like to thank both Variety and BMF for supporting the students who will undoubtedly benefit from this extra provision.”

Variety has been working to improve the lives of young people who are sick, disabled or disadvantaged since 1949, and provided the school with its last minibus 30 years ago.

The new coach will be shared with students from John Flamsteed’s partners the Ripley Academy and Street Lane Primary School.

Teacher Helen Redhead said: “This will enhance the lives and probable life chances of many more students and for that we and they are extremely grateful.”

Variety chief executive Frances Lang added: “These coaches, often regarded as mobile classrooms, give pupils with additional needs the opportunity to experience active learning and develop life skills outside of the school environment.”

BMF members across the country chose Variety as their official charity for the year, and have led a fundraising campaign which culminated in the four-day continental car rally in mid-September.

BMF chief executive John Newcomb said: “The federation is delighted to support Variety. It does a fantastic job helping disadvantaged young people and it is clear that a Sunshine Coach is far more than a means of transport.

“The funds raised from this event could not have been put to better use.”

He added: “I must thank BMF members across the building materials supply chain who have helped us in our fundraising, in particular everyone that took part in and supported the Vado Rally, which sees industry teams competing in a crazy car rally across six countries in four days.”