Rotary help Carronhill bus

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A MAJOR golf event is being planned by Stonehaven Rotary Club to help cover the running costs of a special school’s new state-of-the-art pupil bus.

The Friends of the town’s Carronhill School have secured funding from a number of sources for a new purpose-built vehicle, including £6,000 from the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Community Fund and the hope is that the bus can be delivered in June.

However, the school’s head teacher Mrs Lesley Hawksfield underlined that with the £42,000 purchase cost achieved, it is vital to build up a contingency fund to cover running costs and other expenditure associated with the operation of the vehicle.

Now the town’s rotary club is set to mount an open event at Stonehaven Golf Club on Friday June 1, specifically aimed at helping with these costs, including the high price of diesel fuel.

Stonehaven businessman and Rotarian Ivan Groundwater, who is one of the event’s organisers, explained that the fund-raiser will be a team Stableford competition for men and women, open to anyone who wishes to participate.

There would be teams of four at £50 per player and play would be anytime between 11am and 3pm.

Mr Groundwater added that they were on the hunt for more sponsors with Sparrows Offshore Services already sponsoring the event’s first prize, a round of golf for four at Gleneagles.

Mrs Hawksfield said that the bus was on order with a hoped-for delivery date in June and they were now getting down to the job of raising cash to pay for servicing and running costs.

And the need to have cash in hand had been underlined by the fact that new commercial vehicles needed to have an MoT test at the end of their first year, unlike cars which clocked up three years from new before needing the test. There were also other costs, not least the cost of diesel fuel.

“We are trying to get an amount of money together to cover the costs of running a vehicle which will represent a huge step forward for us compared with the present eight-year old bus which was donated by the Variety Club of Great Britain.

“I am delighted that the rotary club is going to run this event for us because it means so much that the community is willing to do all sorts of things to help us.”

The new bus will bring hitherto unheard of benefits for Carronhill and will have two permanent wheelchair spaces and room for 13 other passengers. It will also have purpose-built hoist provision with a floor strong enough to take electronically powered wheelchairs.

The more they could do to get pupils out into the community the better and having a bus of this standard will be “so fulfilling” for parents and children alike, Mrs Hawksfield added.

Anyone interested in the golf event can email Denis Daun at d.daun@jgcollie.co.uk; Ivan Groundwater on ivan@groundwater.uk.com or Donald Mitchell on dmitchell91@btinternet.com.