School transport plea

07 Mar 2018 Benalla Ensign, Benalla VIC (General News) by Didier Stobart The Wangaratta District Specialist School is in need of an urgent upgrade for a transport vehicle, so it can increase the number of outdoor activities and improve the transport for the students with a disability. The school is close to its capacity, with 160 students, more than 30 per cent of those coming from Benalla. The school only has two buses with wheelchair capabilities and is relying on old run-down vehicles to transport the students. This is becoming a huge problem for the school with travel and scheduling activities becoming impossible because of the current state of the vehicles and difficulties with scheduling the days of transport. The buses need a large vehicle license to drive, leaving only a few teachers with the capabilities, causing rostering difficulties and making students miss out on activities. The school is aiming to help the students assimilate into the community, and everyday outdoor activities are the best way to do that. The school is aiming to purchase a Toyota Hiace Bus, costing $70 000, which it needs from sponsors because the amount is just not in its budget. The donation would be 100 per cent tax deductable. The bus does not need a specialist license to drive and will provide the wheelchair capabilities that the students are in desperate need for. The sponsorship will provide the company or person with a visual sponsor on the vehicle, and will be seen as a deductable gift recipient. The bus has 15 seats for the students, and will provide them with more opportunities for activities and improve travelling to and from the school. The school has made a number of applications for grants, but was refused by the department of education, being told it was not a priority. The school has also reached out to State Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes, who pledged to provide support to help obtain grants or funding, but has not yet gotten back to them. State Member for Euroa Steph Ryan was also made aware of the situation last week and has not yet responded. With enrolment increasing by 12 to 15 per cent every year, the 160 students are simply running out of space on the current lot and need every bit of support as the program expands. The school has raised $12 500 of the $70 000 target, thanks to the companies listed below: Alpine Truss $10,000; Chisholm Partners accountants $1000; and Garry Nash Real-estate $1500. If you would like to sponsor the District Specialist School and provide them with the transport they deserve, phone Tim Hearn on 0418 619 095. Caption Text: Help needed: Tim Hearn with one of the happy students from Wangaratta District Specialist School.Licensed by Copyright Agency. You may only copy or communicate this work with a licence.