So our faithful supporter Simon Morgan who took up the challenge last year to run in the Purbeck 16 came back to tackle the big one…the full marathon, which to be fair far exceeded a marathon in that not only was it 27 miles long, but over such tough terraine we reckon he did 2 marathons in one. He managed to raise significant funds for the Coach and despite a remarkably hot day for the time of year, Simon managed to run the race in excellent time.
We are so grateful to Simon for running this race, and if anyone would like to enter for next years run, be that the 16 mile or 27 then please get in contact because it is never to early to train!
We have smashed the target for the awning, thanks to great efforts from our supporters and the local community. We have many people to thank for this including the Three Legged Cross Solar Fund; the Alderholt Community Fund; East Dorset Councillors Councillor Gibson and Councillor Flower; Alderholt Community Cafe; and a lot of individual supporters for the bus who have made donations or sponsored our 2 runners in the Purbeck 16. So now we are putting in the order with the completion and fitting in 4-5 weeks – just in time for the hot summer months!
Though we are a little behind on bringing this news better late than never!
Following the launch of our new fundraiser for an Awning for the new bus, 2 brave men willingly volunteered to take on the Purbeck 16, which is a challenging 16 mile run. They both did exceedingly well and also managed to raise £600 towards the Awning Fund. Well done guys and thank you very much!
After many months of energetic fundraising our new bus is finally here and we were able to mark the occasion with a joyous launch party last month. We had many attendees including those who access the projects, many of our faithful volunteers, local Councillors, and other generous funders including Morrison’s who provided substantial financial support for the new bus. Our celebration landed on a warm evening and included live music, a barbeque, and a blessing for the Coach from the Bishop of Sherborne. A great time was had by all and since then the Coach has been in full operation and is a joy to work with.
After many years of service we waved our old bus off to pastures new. Incredibly the bus made it all the way to Nottingham which bought both amazement and great relief. We are very pleased to announce that our new bus is with us, though awaiting some final touches before the official launch in September when there will be plenty of photos for all to view.
Anyone who has seen our current bus sailing around East Dorset in recent months will know it really is overdue retirement. Due to low lying branches the upper level has constant bashes which finally led to the screen falling in, thereby causing havoc with the electrics. Our faithful Trustee/Driving instructor/Fireman Nick took it upon himself to climb the heights and cover the screen with a very temporary layer of plastic and Gaffer tape. In fact Gaffer tape has proved an invaluable building material over the past year, securing glass, plastic, metal panels, and even the bumper!
A recent visit to see our new bus gave me the opportunity to take some snaps of the internal work that has taken place, so here they are to wet your appetite!
We are pleased to announce a generous funding boost from the Foyle Foundation, who have given £5,000 to the charity. As you will be aware we have invested a lot of time over the past year or so into fundraising for the new bus, and just in the nick of time reached our target. However, securing ongoing running costs for the projects can prove more tricky, so we are particularly grateful to the Foyle Foundation for their support. Their Small Grants Scheme is designed to help smaller charities in the UK, especially those working at grass roots and local community level, in any field, across a wide range of activities. We would like to say a huge thank you from all of us involved in the Coach in the Community.
We have finally made it!
After months and months of fundraising, we have reached the target to commence refurbishment on our new bus. Stagecoach have very generously given us a replacement bus that is now with the refurbishment company undergoing major works. We have had great support in planning the look for the new bus from Qualiti Conversions who are now stripping the bus down and building a bespoke layout inside that we hope will provide for a wider population. The work will take 2 months which ties neatly into our current bus reaching the end of its MOT.
Watch this space for updates…
2016 already looks to be a good year in the world of the Coach, with the Rank Foundation also coming on board and very kindly donating £3,000 towards the refurbishment of the new bus. Their support means that we have reached the goal for the main refurbishment and now only need a further £8,000 for solar panels for the roof. This will give us not only free, eco-friendly power, with no ongoing maintenance costs, but will mean we can travel to even more remote places.
Thank you Rank Foundation!