The 72nd Smiley Bus of the Steve Morgan Foundation fleet has been officially handed over, to Ysgol Y Gogarth Special School in Llandudno.
The wheelchair-accessible 17-seater Smiley Bus will play a major part in enabling severely disabled children from the school to access offside activities, promoting their independent living skills.
Ysgol Y Gogarth is a day and residential school with over 200 pupils, all of whom have a statement of Special Educational Needs for moderate and severe learning disabilities, profound and multiple learning difficulties, or Autism Spectrum Disorder.
The school also manages a residential facility, Llys Gogarth, which, as well as being a residential children’s home, offers respite and short-term placements for pupils who have been identified through Social Services needs assessment and the annual review process.
The school uses a fleet of several minibuses to transport pupils to various activities including courses in animal care, childcare, construction and catering, GCSE tutoring, shopping trips, riding for the disabled, swimming, various other excursions and health and wellbeing activities.
Two of the fleet had become unreliable and needed replacing and the new Smiley Bus will provide a far easier and more efficient means of transport for pupils to enjoy both educational and fun pursuits away from school.
The Smiley Bus also has a tail-lift to help access for wheelchair users, of whom there are 22 at Ysgol Y Gogarth.
Part of the funding for the Smiley Bus was donated by Steve Morgan after securing substantial damages and an apology following a false and defamatory claim made by the Daily Mail’s publisher, Associated Newspapers Limited.