DISABLED Silhillians will be transported round the borough in style thanks to the fundraising efforts of kind-hearted parents.
Users of the Park View Day Centre in Sharmans Cross, which offers support to disabled adults and their carers, will now be able to get out and about after West Midlands Deputy Lieutenant David Bradnock and his wife Margaret, whose daughter attends the centre, raised £35,000 to fund the new, state-of-the-art minibus.
Mr and Mrs Bradnock first took fundraising into their own hands in February 2015 after realising the difficulties staff at the centre had getting its visitors out in the borough.
Speaking to the Observer, Deputy Lieutenant Bradnock said: “Our lovely daughter Laura attends Park View and one day the staff turned to me and said ‘David we need help getting them out and about’.
“Laura is very fortunate to have a loving family and a worldwide host of special friends, but some people at the centre are not as lucky.
“There are over 80 adults at Park View Centre, all over 18, and most will be there until the end of their lives.
“Some are of an age that their parents are no longer alive and we wanted these lovely people who have these learning differences to be able to go out into the community and experience things that we take for granted – like going to the library, cinema, tenpin bowling, pub lunches, the theatre, local colleges just to name a few.”
The Park View Centre, off Monkspath Hall Road, is not on a bus route, meaning the adult users at the centre lose out on engaging with the local community.
But thanks to donations from individuals, recruitment firm Pertemps, Jaguar Land Rover and local organisations including the Women’s Institute, David and Margaret’s fundraising goal became a reality.
David added: “We had some people come up to us and donate the last few pounds they had, as well as the very generous larger donations.
“Our daughter then took it upon herself to draw a picture for every single person who donated – whether it was £1 or £1,000 – to personally say thank them.”
The new eight-seater minibus was revealed at a special launch event which brought together visitors, supporters and staff of Park View over coffee and cake.
Deputy Lieutenant Bradnock, the Mayor of Solihull Coun Michael Robinson and Park View manager, Pete Earl, all gave speeches thanking donors for their generosity.