Waitrose funding helps put new minibus on the road in Barnet
The Lord’s Taverners were in the London Borough of Barnet earlier this month (6 March) to present staff and pupils at Oakleigh School with a new Lord’s Taverners wheelchair accessible minibus.
Oakleigh School is a community special school which caters for 115 young people aged 2-11, 50% of which are wheelchair users. Children at the school live with severe and complex learning difficulties, these include profound and multiple learning difficulties, autism spectrum conditions and some have other conditions and syndromes.
The new 16-seat wheelchair accessible minibus will be used to transport the school’s pupils to activities within the local community. They will now be able to access learning in the community through educational visits, and off site swimming experiences which are essential for their needs. The minibus will also be used to transport children home following after school club’s and during school holiday’s to help with transport to family events run by the school’s family support worker.
This minibus has been made possible thanks to the fundraising efforts of Waitrose Group L branches in London, Hertfordshire and Essex. Waitrose partners have raised funds through a series of initiatives, including a one day, 130 mile cycle ride between all the Group L branches, a golf day, white water rafting, bake-a-thon and its Community Matters Scheme. This is the fourth Lord’s Taverners minibus to be presented thanks to the efforts of Waitrose partners since 2010. The partnership is set to keep improving the lives of young people in local communities with more minibuses on the way.
Acting Head Teacher at Oakleigh School, Ruth Harding, was very happy with the prospect of having a new minibus for the school: “We are delighted with our new minibus. It will give all our pupils at Oakleigh School the opportunity to go out in the local and wider community.”
Michael Hynes, Brent Cross Waitrose Branch Manager, said: "We are thrilled again to work with the Lord’s Taverners to raise funds for such a fantastic cause. Waitrose are delighted that Oakleigh School are the recipients of this bus as we know how much Joy the bus will bring to its students, to enjoy new experiences and visit new places. Waitrose group L partners have really pushed themselves in their fund raising efforts but have also benefited in the team camaraderie it has produced."