STAFF at students at Elmwood School in Bridgwater were celebrating after having a new specially-adapted minibus donated.

On Thursday, September 6, a special ceremony was held where the keys were handed over to deputy headteacher Andrew Laurence.

The new minibus is a Variety Sunshine Coach donated by developer Crest Nicholson in conjunction with its charity partner Variety.

Variety works across the UK to support and improve the lives of young people.

Elmwood School is a secondary school which caters for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities aged between 11 and 19 years.

The coach will be used regularly to transport children, young people and staff to a wide variety of off-site activities to enrich and broaden their curriculum experiences.

This includes hydrotherapy, horse riding and trips to the zoo, museum, and theatre.

Helen Farnell, executive headteacher at the Elmwood and Penrose Federation said: “We are very excited about the new coach being presented, it is great to see the fantastic work Variety do for local organisations including special schools, and we are incredibly appreciative to both Variety and Crest Nicholson for their generosity.

“We look forward to our first coach trip this week and being able to show off our new bus to the local community.”

Colleen Ettridge, head of fundraising at Variety added: “We are grateful to Crest Nicholson South West for their continued support for Variety which has today seen Elmwood School receive a replacement minibus to enable pupils to access facilities and expand their learning outside of the school environment.”

The handover event was also attended by Crest Nicholson South West’s managing director Darren Dancey.

Mr Dancey said: “It is lovely to meet the pupils and staff of Elmwood School who will enjoy using their new Sunshine Coach as they enter a brand-new school year.

“We are so pleased that our donation will help to ensure off-site educational activities are accessible to all students and look forward to seeing how our support will enrich the daily life of pupils at Elmwood.”

Earlier this year Crest Nicholson South West held a Las Vegas themed charity event in Weston-Super-Mare to raise money for Variety.

In total, the developer has donated £1.4 million to the Variety charity since 2005.

For more information visit