Young people with disabilities in Norwich to benefit from new Lord’s Taverners minibus.

Representatives of the Norfolk Lord’s Taverners and Lady Taverners were in Norwich on Thursday 8th December 2016 with BBC Presenter and Lord’s Taverner’s Ambassador Stewart White presenting a new wheelchair accessible minibus to staff and young people at Hall School, Old Catton. Media are welcome to attend the presentation at 2.15pm for interview, photography or video opportunities.

Since 1976, the Lord’s Taverners have provided over 1,100 accessible minibuses across schools in the UK. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the first minibus giveaway, and to celebrate this, the charity will be giving away a record 40 minibuses in 2016. The iconic Lord’s Taverners minibuses provide young disadvantaged and disabled people with the chance to engage with their local community by getting more access to the facilities on offer and build important life skills in the process.
Hall School caters for pupils in the age range 3-19. All pupils have significant and complex needs including severe learning difficulties, profound and multiple learning difficulties, autistic spectrum disorder and multi-sensory impairment. The School takes great pride in offering a warm, positive and welcoming environment. The school has specialist status for its work in communication and interaction and increasingly provides outreach support to other schools. The school’s work has also been recognised by the Activemark, Sportsmark, International Schools, Healthy Schools and Network in Excellence for Computing Science Hall Schools last Ofsted report was Outstanding.

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The new minibus from the Lord’s Taverners, costing £53,000, will enable the Hall School pupils to lead more independent lives and develop life skills by providing vital accessible transportation.

The Lord’s Taverners, the UK’s leading youth cricket and disability sports charity, will donate over £3 million this year to help give disadvantaged and young people with disabilities a ‘sporting chance’ in life.”

The Lord’s Taverners have developed rapidly in Norfolk over the last few years and since setting up in Norfolk have supported 6 local Special Needs Schools with sensory centres, outdoor play areas and minibuses.

Sports wheelchairs have also been provided for 12 local schoolchildren who play competitive wheelchair basketball. The Taverners gave Alfie Hewett from Cantley his first sports wheelchair and it has changed his life. Initially he used it for archery but quickly developed to wheelchair basket ball and wheelchair tennis. At age 15 he became world junior wheelchair tennis champion and is now 18 and competing at World class level with men. He is current Wimbledon wheelchair doubles Champion and won silver medals in Rio for both singles and doubles.

The Lady Taverners host a series of Fun Days for disabled pupils and their carers at venues across the UK, from theme parks to petting zoos.

The Lord’s Taverners provide specially-adapted transport for special schools catering for young people with learning and physical disabilities These iconic green minibuses enable the schools to engage their pupils in sporting and recreational activities and help them develop life skills such as visiting shops and interacting with people in the local community. Most importantly, the minibuses provide transport to and from school for pupils whose families are unable to take them.

Gary Towers. Lords’ Taverners Norfolk Regional Chairman said “.Our sporting roots are within cricket, but we also enjoy relationships with a wide range of other sports including rugby, tennis, squash, basketball and boccia.

“We believe that sport and recreation are essential for all young people, regardless of ability or background. This minibus will help the Hall School pupils to get out and enjoy new places and experiences. We are always inspired by visits to Special Schools to see the excellent work done and are proud to support the staff, parents and young people of Hall School.”

Hall School’s Headteacher, Keith McKenzie , said: “We at Hall School are thrilled to receive one of the 40th Anniversary Lord’s Taverners minibuses, it means so much for our children and young people who will now be able to access community and sports activities that they would not have been able to do without this generous donation. Our students can now explore the local community and at the same time learn independent skills to enable them to travel on their own in the future. This helps us to achieve our aim of preparing our students for a fulfilled life after school and to feel a vital part of the local community.”

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The kids from Hall School’s signing choir. They sang 4 songs including a very moving rendition of “You raise me up

Lord’s, Ladys, The Bill, Kids and a Minibus – read about The Taverners and Graham Cole presenting a minibus to Fred Nicholson School