Students participating in the Duke of Edinburgh Award (DofE) scheme at Darlington’s Longfield Academy of Sport have helped provide the school with a much-needed second minibus.
As part of the volunteering section of the DofE, 26 students, aged between 14 and 16 years, gave up their free weekend time to undertake supermarket bag packs and other sponsored events.
They raised more than £2,000 to make a significant contribution towards a new minibus, which was supplied by minibus experts Simon Bailes Peugeot and recently handed over to Headteacher Mrs Susan Johnson by Managing Director Simon Bailes himself.
The 17 seat wheelchair enabled minibus will enable many more pupils to benefit from curriculum-based field trips, such as science and geography outings. The whole school will benefit from the vehicle and the impact made by the DofE scheme at the school has seen numbers taking part increase from 26 in 2014/15 to 70 in 2015/16.
Andy Collishaw, finance director at Longfield Academy of Sport who is involved in the school’s Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, said: “This was a fantastic group of young people, who were a credit to the school, their families and themselves.
“The Volunteering section of the DofE enables the young people to give up their time to help others and change things for the better and this has certainly been the case.
“The sports teams at the school tend to use the existing minibus most of the time but now we can widen out the use of transport to the whole curriculum, which will be of huge value across the school for the next few years.
“Simon Bailes Peugeot has done an amazing deal for us and we’re very grateful that, with school funds, money raised by the DofE students and Simon Bailes goodwill and support we can take delivery of the new minibus.”
Simon Bailes added: “The school will really benefit from the additional minibus and it was a pleasure to be able to work with them to deliver a great solution for their needs. We pride ourselves in delivering quality solutions which add value. It was particularly pleasing that the pupils have done such a great job fundraising and they will be even more invested in making the most of the new opportunities the minibus will bring.
“I am sure the minibus will add greatly to school life and enable many students to get out and about on educational field trips.”