Smiley Bus Helps The Buddies!

It was back in 2015 that an Enable grant of £23,000 was awarded for a Smiley Bus for the Central Cheshire Buddy Scheme.

It’s fair to say the Smiley Bus has enjoyed some extensive use over those last four years, not just in and around their premises in Crewe but also much further afield.

The Central Cheshire Buddy Scheme is a charity which supports children and young people with disabilities, adopting a ‘Can Do’ attitude believing anyone can achieve anything that they wish.

Use of the Smiley Bus has played a massive part in helping in that regard, being able to transport children and young people with complex needs to enjoy a range of activities out and about in the community.

“The bus has made a huge difference to disabled children, sibling young carers, carers and disabled adults,” says Stephanie Lawley, Service Delivery Manager and one of the key drivers of the charity along with Louise Bailey.

“At the moment the bus is used five days a week, sometimes seven, often more than once a day.

“Each week on average 60 disabled children ride on the bus, 12 carers, 12 sibling young carers and14 disabled adults.

“The bus has created new opportunities for disabled children, offering them regular clubs and activities which they can look forward to, and has allowed people to visit new places and enjoy new experiences.

“We have taken people to some great places including Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Chester shopping, Canoeing at Brereton, cinema at Newcastle-Under-Lyme, ‘Play Away’ in Yorkshire and the Isle of Man.

“For us it is a symbol of who we are and what we do.

“When we talk to groups we say ‘just jump on the bus and we will take you out and about.’

“It is great to have it and we would just like to say thank you again to the Steve Morgan Foundation.”

The Foundation has also supported the Central Cheshire Buddy Scheme since the donation of the Smiley Bus, with a £27,000 annual grant for three years towards core costs.

·         Our Enable funding helps with the purchase of specialised disability equipment for people of all ages in our remit area who are in need of assistance. To apply visit…/enable-funding/ or call 01829 782808.

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