Firpark Primary School in Motherwell is the proud owner of a specially adapted minibus, thanks to the kind support of Variety, the Children’s Charity and DPD, the UK’s leading parcel delivery brand.

The additional support needs school has 120 pupils with a wide range of disabilities, including ASD, ADHD, Downs Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy. In addition, the school has four children who must always travel in their wheelchairs.

Alan Connell, Manager at DPD Eurocentral Depot Glasgow handed the keys of the minibus – better known as a Variety Sunshine Coach – to Marie Clare Webster, Firpark Primary’s headteacher, during a special presentation at the school on Thursday February 14 2019.

“We are absolutely delighted to receive a new coach,” enthused Mrs Webster. “It will have a huge impact on the experiences we are able to offer our pupils.”

The 13-seater wheelchair compatible Variety Sunshine Coach will give pupils a chance to boost their communication skills during daily trips to the library, supermarkets and parks. It will also be used to attend various sporting events throughout the year, where pupils can be included in healthy competition with their peers and experience successes which can directly impact their self-esteem.

Dwain McDonald, CEO of DPD, commented:

“DPD has worked with Variety now for over 25 years and it is a charity that is very close to our hearts.

We know what a huge difference each and every coach can make and it gives us great pleasure to handover the keys to such a deserving cause as Firpark Primary. I’m sure they will have big plans for the coach and loads of very special memories as a result.”

The School’s new Variety Sunshine Coach will replace its 11 year old minibus, which is no longer safe and reliable.

Tom Porteous, Variety’s member of the Scottish Committee, said:

“We are extremely grateful to DPD for helping to fund Firpark Primary School’s new Variety Sunshine Coach.

These coaches, often regarded as mobile classrooms, give pupils with additional needs, the opportunity to experience active learning and develop life skills, outside the school environment.”

Guests at the coach presentation included Stephen Craigan, the Northern Irish footballer, who spent his entire playing career at Motherwell. He is now the Assistant Manager of the Northern Ireland Under -19 squad.

Firpark Primary contributed to the cost of the Variety Sunshine Coach with the support of parents and the wider community who raised funds through fun activities such as Bingo Night and Sponsored Bounce.