Minibus donated to pupils and staff at borough special school

Rowan Tree Primary school in Atherton has received the generous donation
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A minibus has been donated to pupils and staff at a community special school.

The Variety Sunshine Coach was given to Rowan Tree Primary school in Atherton, where its 116 children all have severe and complex needs.

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The vehicle was presented by Alan Clinton, assistant manager from BJ’s Bingo in Leigh, on behalf of the Bingo Association.

The Variety Sunshine minibus being presented to staff and pupils at Rowan Tree Primary school in AthertonThe Variety Sunshine minibus being presented to staff and pupils at Rowan Tree Primary school in Atherton
The Variety Sunshine minibus being presented to staff and pupils at Rowan Tree Primary school in Atherton

It is the 34th donated by The Bingo Association in the past five years. Also in attendance at the presentation were BJ’s Bingo operations manager, Lee Rich, and deputy manager Jenny Brocklehurst.

The new Sunshine Coach is needed so that the school can continue offering learning opportunities to their students and encourage a better life.

It would be used every day to take pupils on educational trips, sports activities, swimming lessons, golf, bowling, walks, parks, shopping, educational tours, residential visits and local clubs.

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Liz Loftus, headteacher at Rowan Tree school, said: “Due to the pandemic we have not been able to deliver activities and lessons off-site and children have been unable to apply skills learned in school to new more challenging community contexts.

“Having a new minibus to enable us to re-introduce a large part of our curriculum is fantastic.

“We have all missed it so much: its importance has been further heightened.”

Miles Baron, chief executive of The Bingo Association, said: “I would like to thank BJ’s Bingo, representing the bingo industry, for the incredible support and generosity of their customers and staff.

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“Customers from bingo clubs across Great Britain have made this very worthy donation of a Sunshine Coach possible.”

Andrew Tattershall, general manager of BJ’s in Leigh, said: “BJ’s Bingo were delighted to nominate a local school to receive a Variety Sunshine coach.

“ We were pleased that the bus was handed over late last year and are now delighted that we can make the formal presentation in person.

“Thank you to all of our staff and customers for their support over the years in helping raise much needed funds for such a worthy charity.”

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Lyn Staunton, development director at Variety NW, said: “We are delighted to present one of our Sunshine Coaches today to Rowan Tree School and would like to thank The Bingo Association for their huge generosity in making this possible.

“Every new Sunshine Coach on the road is a step towards our goal of improving the lives of disadvantaged and disabled children.”

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