New wheels on the road for Birmingham youngsters
Dancers from the Birmingham Royal Ballet were on hand to present staff and pupils at Queen Alexandra College (QAC), Birmingham, with a new Lord’s Taverners wheelchair accessible minibus this week (28 November).
Since 1976, the Lord’s Taverners has placed over 1,100 accessible minibuses across schools in the UK. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the first minibus giveaway, and to celebrate this, the charity will be giving away a record 40 minibuses in 2016. 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.
QAC is a specialist charity catering for over 200 young people aged 16-25 who have a range of physical and learning disabilities. All students have at least one disability although some have more than one to overcome and these range from physical disabilities to sensory impairments and/or learning disabilities.
The new 16 seat wheelchair accessible minibus will increase the opportunities provided to pupils who are wheelchair users, and enable those pupils to engage with the wider world, increase their confidence and social skills, and take part in opportunities and experiences that would otherwise be inaccessible to them.
Hugh Williams, Principal at Queen Alexandra College, said: “Transport plays a vital role in life at QAC, whether it is the home-college transport run or students going out on trips and placements as part of their programme. With more and more students being wheelchair users, it becomes even more important that we have the right transport for their needs. Support from the Lord’s Taverners helps make this possible, the minibuses they provide means that groups of students – including those in wheelchairs – can go out together and enjoy a fully inclusive experience, rather than some or all of them being left at college. There is a lot of excitement already about the new minibus as it means more students will be able to get involved in trips, and they are already planning where they want to go! We really appreciate the continued support of the Lord’s Taverners, which has enabled us to better meet student needs.”
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