Despite a forecast to contrary, the weather in Cumbernauld was fine on the day an Italian Job Sunshine Coach was presented to Baird Memorial Primary and ASN Nursery. The school desperately needed a wheelchair accessible coach in order to support the inclusion of pupils with mobility difficulties who had been excluded from wider social and educational opportunities. The new coach arrived at the school following the fundraising efforts of participants in the 25th staging of The Italian Job navigation rally

The annual Italian Job event began in 1990 and is one of the most enjoyable events on the motoring event calendar, having raised over £2.5mllion pounds to date for children’s charities across the UK. Their motto has always been Raising money for children in a fun way and fun is what they bought to Baird Memorial.

Photo: The children show their appreciation of their new coach

Photo: Some of the wheelchair users and their teachers are joined by participants in The Italian Job, members of Variety Scotland

Photo: Elliott McKenzie, Chairman, Variety Scotland is joined by former Glasgow Rangers and Brighton footballer, Gordon Smith, to present the keys of the new coach to a delighted Elspeth McCoull, Principal of Baird Memorial Primary and ASN Nursery

Freddie St George, founder and organiser of The Italian Job, said:

“We are really delighted to present this Sunshine Coach to the Baird Memorial Primary and ASN Nursery. We hope it will make a massive difference to the lives of the children, staff and families of the school by providing increased and fully inclusive mobility opportunities for them all. Since the very first Italian Job event in 1990, we have enjoyed the active involvement, participation and friendship of Scottish Mini owners. We still have teams joining us each year from all over Scotland and it is great that a few of them could join us in Cumbernauld today to help present this amazing Sunshine Coach to the Baird Memorial Primary and ASN Nursery school.”

Elspeth McCoull, Principal Teacher responded:

“Baird Memorial Primary and ASN Nursery are delighted to have taken delivery of their new Sunshine Coach. Our nursery provides early learning and childcare for children with a wide range of additional support needs and now, our children in wheelchairs can access the same learning experiences as our ambulent children. The coach will be used to take part in Forest Kindergarten experiences, visit museums, shops and parks, relevant to the topics that the children are learning. Our new minibus will be a fantastic asset to our service and allow us to provide these broad educational and social experiences for all the children who use our service, developing their confidence, improving their wellbeing and their social skills. We are very grateful to The Italian Job for kindly sponsoring our new bus.”