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Back Keighley News in school’s bus appeal
The Keighley News is backing a special school’s New Year campaign to fund a desperately-needed minibus.
Phoenix School needs to raise £17,000 for a specially-adapted vehicle that can accommodate wheelchair users.
About a third of the Braithwaite Avenue school’s 65 pupils use wheelchairs, but the existing 16-seater minibus is not able to transport them.
Now the KN is leading the call for benevolent business bosses and generous individuals to dig deep to help hit the target.
“When we take out children in chairs we have to hire an adapted minibus, which can cost anything from about £40 to £70 a session,” said the school’s community co-ordinator, Jason Patefield.
“The new vehicle would have removable seats and a tail-lift, and would be used to take the pupils on trips ranging from swimming to parks and supermarkets.”
The school – which caters for youngsters, aged two to 11, with special and additional needs – has so far raised about £12,000 towards the target, 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.
Keighley News editor Richard Parker said: “The massive response to the Salvation Army’s Christmas toy appeal we carried in the paper shows how generous our readers are.
“It’s a tough time financially for everyone at the moment, but it would be fantastic if this superb school could start the New Year in style with a new minibus.”
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 – about half the total,” said Mr Patefield.
“We have been fundraising for the minibus for about two years and would like to hear from anyone, individuals or companies, able to help us reach our goal.”
Mr Patefield can be contacted at the school via e-mail at Phxjp1@phx. bradford.sch.uk or call (01535) 607038.
Donations can also be paid directly into a Friends of Phoenix Special School account at NatWest in Keighley – sort code 53-61-30, account number 64733718.