A brand new £26,000 13-seater Variety Sunshine coach has been donated to Highfield School, Ely, which caters for children and young people.
The coach was funded by developer Weston Homes, which builds homes across the south east of England, including a major new development near the centre of Cambridge.
Veronica Mustoe, a member of the Sunshine Coach Committee, said: “The coaches are absolutely vital as it enables the children to learn and enjoy a wide range of activities, from the small things which we all take for granted such as visiting the shops, to weekends away and joining other schools as part of their education.”
Weston Homes made the donation from legal costs it recovered from Cambridge City Council after the company successfully appealed the rejection of planning permission for a scheme of new homes, Veritas, in Cambridge, which is now currently underway. In addition to the Sunshine Coach in Ely, there has been a £3,000 donation to a women’s charity in Cambridge and Weston Homes is liaising with Variety Club about the donation of more coaches to further schools across the South East.
Bob Weston, Chairman of Weston Homes, said: “We pursued the appeal and the claim for costs from the council as a matter of principle. I always intended to give back to the community, whatever the outcome of our appeal settlement. As I’ve been a long-time supporter of the Variety Club, which does excellent work helping children in difficult circumstances across the country, it made perfect sense to ensure a deserving local charity and local children benefited. After meeting teachers and pupils I’m delighted that the coach has gone to such a good home, and know it will be put to great use.”
Simon Bainbridge, head teacher at Highfield, said: “This donation is an essential resource and means our students will be able to continue their learning within the community. Without the generous support of Weston Homes and the Variety Club our students would not be able to enjoy a wider quality of experiences, which is essential to their learning and development, and we are very grateful.”