New coaches donated to two special schools to help them get out into the community

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THREE new coaches have been donated to special schools to help them visit the wider community.

Developer Crest Nicholson South Division presented three Variety Sunshine Coaches to St Francis Special School in Fareham and Mary Rose Academy in Portsmouth following a children’s fun day of activities and games.

Imogen Sanpanid, assistant headteacher at St Francis Special School said: ‘We truly cannot believe how fortunate we are to get two brand new minibuses for the pupils and young people to use at St Francis School.

‘We couldn’t believe it when The Variety Club informed us that Crest Nicholson were able to sponsor both buses and that we would receive them in such a short time frame.

‘The two new buses will be in continuous use, enabling us to increase enrichment and offsite opportunities for our pupils and young people out in the wider community.’

Each Sunshine Coach will provide pupils with a vehicle to help them to visit their local parks, theatre and wider community during term time, whilst also supporting able-bodied children to take part in exciting sporting activities each day.

Alison Beane, executive headteacher at Mary Rose Academy said: ‘Our new bus is already being fully used and is booked out all day every day. ‘Thank you all so much for providing us with our bus; it helps open so many doors to opportunities beyond the confines of our school.’

Both schools take care of children aged between two and 19 with profound learning difficulties and complex medical needs. Sales and marketing director at Crest Nicholson South, Christine Tiernan said: ‘We’re very proud to be donating to Variety and have already hosted an event that brought the children together from both St Francis Special School and Mary Rose Academy to celebrate their new coaches.

‘We look forward to seeing how our support will benefit these pupils’ needs moving forward and enhance their school experiences as they explore the local Portsmouth community.’

Crest Nicholson has already donated £250,234 to Variety, its official charity partner, including £120,000 raised by Crest Nicholson’s South division at an awards dinner.