Investec Ashes Cycle ride fundraising provides Leeds youngsters with new Taverners minibus

18th Jul 2016
Investec Ashes Cycle ride fundraising provides Leeds youngsters with new Taverners minibus

Staff and pupils from Lighthouse School in Leeds were presented with a new specially adapted Lord’s Taverners minibus last week, one of the ten new minibuses being donated to schools throughout the UK as a result of fundraising from the Investec Ashes Cycle Challenges in 2013 and 2015

Lighthouse School caters for young people aged 11 to 19 with an autistic spectrum condition or related communication disorder. It is Yorkshire’s first special free school, offering a highly personalised education which combines national curriculum with vocational subjects and valuable life, social and communication skills.

Last summer, former England cricketer Darren Gough and over 100 cyclists conquered a 300-mile ride from Manchester to London between the 2005 Ashes venues, to raise funds for the Lord’s Taverners and other beneficiaries. The iconic Lord’s Taverners minibuses provide disadvantaged and disabled young people with the chance to engage with their local community by getting more access to the facilities on offer and build important life skills in the process.

Henry Shires, Senior Investment Director at Investec, said: “I’m totally overcome by the school and the fact it supports worthy and needy children who are now going to be able to benefit from being able to get around cost effectively in a minibus that can take them out, particularly to sporting venues.

“Hopefully they’ll benefit from that and will be able to release some of that energy that they no doubt build up during the day in school.”

Yorkshire Country Cricket Club’s Chief Executive, Mark Arthur, who took part in a bike ride to help raise some of the funds in 2015, said: “Seeing the smiles on the faces of the children as they cambered into the bus said everything to me and our thanks must go to Investec and the Lord’s Taverners for arranging the event last year.

“It was quite an enduring four days, especially for someone like me to cycle 300 miles. But then you see the rewards outside and the happy smiley faces and it’s terrific.”

The Lord’s Taverners, the UK’s leading youth cricket and disability sports charity, will donate over £3 million this year to help give disadvantaged and disabled young people a ‘sporting chance’ in life.

Since 1976, the Lord’s Taverners has placed over 1,110 accessible minibuses across schools in the UK. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the first minibus donation, and to celebrate this, the charity will be giving away a record 40 minibuses in 2016.

Paul Robin, chief executive of the Lord’s Taverners, said: “The Lord's Taverners believes that sport and recreation are essential for all young people, regardless of ability or background. This minibus will help the pupils at Lighthouse School to get out and enjoy new places and experiences in their region and we are proud to support their work.”

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