Minibus drives pupils’ learning

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A minibus is accelerating the shared learning and development of primary school pupils at two Nidderdale schools thanks to the Bayford Group who donated the vehicle.

The Federation of Fountains Earth and St Cuthbert’s C of E Primary Schools say the minibus will bring the schools communities closer. Fountains Earth in Lofthouse has 22 pupils and St Cuthbert’s, based in Pateley Bridge, teaches 90 pupils.

Bowcliffe Hall-based Bayford Group - which is headed by entrepreneur Jonathan Turner and celebrates its centenary this year - is a long-standing champion of giving back to its local communities.

Lynette Brammah, executive headteacher at the Federation, said: “The minibus will be instrumental in achieving shared learning and further broadening our pupils’ horizons to career and work opportunities outside of Nidderdale. A massive thank you to Jonathan and Bayford.”

Bayford Group spans diverse businesses in energy, property and hospitality, notably gas and electricity provider Gulf Gas and Power UK and the Yorke Arms at Pateley Bridge, run by celebrated Michelin-star chef Frances Atkins.

Said Jonathan: “We’re delighted to transform the Federation’s dream into reality. The difference the minibus will make to pupils’ learning and development across the two schools is tremendous.

“The long-term sustainability of our local communities is of vital importance to the local economy and we’re also pleased to provide financial support to the number 821 Nidderdale bus to help transport people around the dales.

“If we have no primary schools we will have no local families and it is important to us to employ and support local folk.”

Added Ms Brammah: “This is a great example of a successful collaboration between schools and business at a time when financial constraints are forcing rural schools to close.

“We look forward to launching our packed programme of sports events and wider projects thanks to this transformational donation.”

The Bayford Group’s recent community initiatives also include raising over £30k for the Archbishop of York’s Youth Trust at an event at Bowcliffe Hall attended by guests including The Archbishop of York, Mary Berry and Frances Atkins.

The Youth Trust aims to inspire generations of young leaders to change the world for the better by developing character and leadership skills.