Pupils and staff at Drumpark Primary School were celebrating yesterday as they received their keys to a brand-new Variety Sunshine Coach which was supplied thanks to the generous support of Patersons Quarries.
Drumpark Primary, which is based in Coatbridge, Scotland, is a school with 146 children, ranging in age from 3 to 12 years, all of whom have special educational needs. These include Autism, Down's Syndrome, Global Developmental Delay, Cerebral Palsy, ADHD as well as a variety of language, communication and physical disabilities. All the pupils require a high level of support and supervision when out and about in the community in order to keep them safe.
The new Sunshine Coach will be an essential resource for the school and will be used daily to take children with mobility issues out into the community, where they can fully participate with their peers. The school also runs an extensive Forest School Programme at their site at Gartcosh Nature Reserve where they take groups from the nursery and school on a weekly basis, and the new coach will be helpful for this. Finally, the Sunshine Coach will also be used to transport the children to sporting activities, such as cross country, badminton and swimming galas, where they can build their life skills and their sense of independence and take part in team-building activities.
Willie Paterson, Chairman, Patersons Quarries said:
“My connection to Drumpark goes back to around the early ’80s. My Aunt had passed away and left me approximately £14,000. Not long after that, a teacher from Drumpark came to see me trying to raise funds for a minibus. I asked how much it was and she told me £12,000 so I asked her what colour she wanted! One of my Aunt’s conditions was that if the money was not spent, then it should go to the cat and dog home. I obviously thought that Drumpark was a better choice. We are a local company and try to be supportive of local causes and clubs, although sometimes people think that money grows on trees! The connection between the original minibus, my Aunt and my family appeals to me and it was not a difficult choice to make or to support.”
Dave King, Variety's Head of Programmes said:
“We are extremely grateful to Patersons Quarries for helping to fund the school’s 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 of the school environment.”
Madeleine Asken, Depute Head, Drumpark Primary School said:
“On behalf of all the pupils, parents and staff of Drumpark, I would like to offer heartfelt thanks to Paterson Quarries, for their fantastic generosity in offering to be our sponsor.
The new minibus with a tail lift will have a tremendously positive impact on all our pupils, enabling us to provide so many more inclusive and enjoyable community learning opportunities. Paterson Quarries have helped make lots of children very happy now and for many years to come!”