One year on | Bradfields Academy
Last year, Bradfields Academy in Chatham, Kent received a brand-new wheelchair accessible minibus from the Lord's Taverners. The minibus, which extended their existing fleet, is used daily to transport all their students to sports events, curriculum visits and after-school activities. They can now transport wheelchair users alongside non-wheelchair users for the first time and it has allowed for more trips that include everyone.
We caught up with members of staff to find out how the new minibus has impacted on the lives of their pupils.
Lesley Harris, Business Manager at Bradfields, recalled this story: “One of our classes won a bowling trip recently and because we have Megan, who is a wheelchair user, in this class, we would previously have needed to change the venue for this trip. Thanks to the new Lord’s Taverners bus, everyone was able to travel together making it a truly inclusive trip for all the students.”
Assistant principal of Bradfields Academy, Liz Halton, said “Having the extra minibus has allowed us to extend the Academy beyond its physical boundaries and take the students out into the community and broaden their horizons.”
Bradfields provides education for almost 300 students up to the age of 19 who experience a co-morbidity of complex learning disabilities and difficulties including speech, language, emotional, sensory, physical and autistic spectrum disabilities.
This minibus was made possible thanks to the fundraising efforts of Rotary South East, who raised £17,000 towards the funding of the new vehicle.