Bus well on the way to being transformed into shelter for Portsmouth's homeless
WORK is well under way to turn a double-decker bus into a shelter for homeless people.
The seats and orange bars on the former Stagecoach bus have been removed and insulation has been put on the walls.
Thanks to generous donations from businesses and the community, the bus will soon be kitted out with a kitchen, beds and toilet.
As previously reported in The News, Joanne Vines launched the Bus Project earlier this year to create 12 beds for homeless people in and around Portsmouth.
Thousands of pounds has been donated for the project, which should be ready in time for winter.
One of the many groups to offer their time is Fareham Men’s Shed.
Members Tony Crane and Mick Foster went to see the bus earlier this week.
Tony said: ‘We got an email from Joanne asking if we could donate some time towards the project.
‘It was something we were keen to help with.
‘We have already taken out the orange bars and blacked-out the upstairs window. Now we are seeing what else we can help with.’
Mick said the whole project was something they were keen to support.
‘It is a very good idea,’ he said.
‘The people that we help do need it and I think this is a brilliant way to give them the support they need.’
The top level of the bus is hoping to be completed first as carpentry students at Highbury College have offered to make and fit the bunks.
Joanne said the Cosham college got in touch to make the beds as part of the students’ course.
All the wood has been purchased and the students will start making them soon.
Joanne hopes work will start on the kitchen in the coming weeks.
She said: ‘Things are moving along nicely.
‘It took time to get the electrician, plumber and builders out to see the bus and measure it all but now that is done, work can start properly.
‘Hopefully the upstairs part will be completed first thanks to Highbury College and then the rest should start falling into place.’
Joanne hopes by the end of the project, more than £4,000 would have been raised.
Nearly £1,000 of that total was raised by The News’ editorial team, who ran 35 miles earlier this month in a relay.
Thanks to the generosity of our readers, the team raised £850. Donations can still be made at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/TheNews-runningforthebus.
THE Bus Project is holding a fundraiser next month to help boost funds.
On June 2 a family-friendly event is taking place with a magician, disco, balloon-maker and 70s band.
It is at the RNOC Club, on Lake Road in Portsmouth, from 7.30pm.
Tickets for adults are £3.