Colleagues at Brighton & Hove Buses have dedicated hundreds of hours over the past three years to restoring an old bus and turning it into a chill-out zone and quiet learning area for children at St Nicolas CE Primary School in Portslade.
Nathan Enticknapp, Frank Clasen, Steve Boreham and Neil Miles from Brighton & Hove Buses worked alongside parents, children and staff from the school – including Nathan’s brother Cain Ruff – who is the school‘s caretaker – to restore the bus.
The company donated materials, such as the moquette seat covering, expertise and equipment needed for the bus, which was officially opened at the school summer fete.
The bus has been heavily used already, with sitting in the driver’s cab and playing with the highly realistic dashboard proving the most popular activity.
Children can also use the library, play board games or sit and chat on beanbags. The next project is to install a hatch and run a healthy snack bar from the bus.
Nathan said working on the bus pulled together the community and gave the children a colourful new outdoor area.
A wooden tree, especially carved, painted and fixed to the outside of the bus, features the handprints of every child and member of staff at the school: all 426 of them.
Nathan said: “The kids thought it was absolutely fantastic. They really got involved. This new learning space should expand the children’s imagination in a safe environment. Who knows, maybe this could lead to potential engineers and drivers for the future of Brighton & Hove Buses?”
St Nicolas’ Headteacher Andy Richbell said the children loved using the bus for play time.
“They are the luckiest kids anywhere. All of them have been involved at one time or another, so they’ve seen it progress. It’s been a real community effort and it looks amazing.”