ONE OF the stars of forthcoming film The Iron Lady delighted schoolchildren when he presented them with a brand new minibus.
James Smith took time out from filming TV comedy Friday Night Dinner to present the £48,000 17-seater minibus to children at Waterloo School, in Waterlooville, yesterday.
The Lady Taverners bus was paid for by the networking organisation 100 Property Club, with a contribution from the school.
The Lady Taverners source sponsorship to help organisations.
The school caters for 46 pupils up to the age of 11 with behavioural, social and emotional disabilities.
All classrooms are designed to be autistic friendly to allow all pupils to access the curriculum at their own level.
Mr Smith, who starred in political comedies The Thick of It and In the Loop, cracked Christmas jokes with the youngsters as he cut the ribbon on the bright green bus.
Staff say it will give them more opportunities to take the children out in groups.
Mr Smith said: ‘It’s the first time I’ve ever done anything like this and it’s been a marvellous day.
‘Waterloo is a wonderful school. It’s a thrill and a pleasure to be asked along.’
This is the 17th Lady Taverners minibus to have been sponsored by the 100 Property Club, which has donated nearly 50 minibuses to schools for young people with special needs over the last 24 years.
The Lady Taverners is part of The Lord’s Taverners, the official charity of recreational cricket. It is one of the UK’s leading youth sports and disability charities.
Director Derrin Gill, said: ‘We believe sport and recreation are essential for all young people, particularly those with special needs.
‘The new minibus will help these youngsters get out and enjoy new places and experiences.
‘We are proud to support the staff, parents and young people of The Waterloo School, and thank the 100 Property Club for their fantastic support over the years.’