Blackmarston School has unveiled its new bus, in front of an audience of donors, staff, and children at their premises in Hereford. Nearly half of the £60,000 cost of the bus was provided from Masonic sources.
The school, for children with severe, profound and multiple learning difficulties, received £25,000 from the Masonic Charitable Foundation two years ago, when the MCF donated £50,000 to four Hereford charities in celebration of the Tercentenary of the foundation of Grand Lodge. This sum was divided between the four according to the wishes expressed in a public vote, when Blackmarston proved the most popular cause among the four excellent charities. The school has also received donations from a number of Hereford Lodges. These, in conjunction with generous donations from the Herefordshire-based Clive and Sylvia Richards Charity and other donors, enabled the school to buy a large and well-equipped bus, for taking the children on visits and excursions, providing stimulation, new experiences, educational benefits and enjoyment.
The bus was unveiled at a special ceremony at the school, attended by The Countess of Darnley, Lord Lieutenant of Herefordshire, Clive and Sylvia Richards, and representatives of Herefordshire Freemasons. The very imaginative ceremony began with a presentation from the head teacher, Sian Bailey, and members of staff, which included some specially written songs and a prize-giving marking the achievements of some of the children, all of whom have severe and complex special needs. Lady Darnley, presenting the awards, congratulated the children, and the staff and carers who work so tirelessly to improve the quality of life, happiness and potential achievements of the children.
After the presentation and prize-giving, a ribbon-cutting ceremony took place outside, where the guests were able to admire the excellent facilities provided by the new bus, while one of the children cut the ribbon.