Wasps Legend Paul Sackey helps Lord’s Taverners charity present Coventry school with a life-changing minibus

Date: 27 Apr 2018

Riverbank Academy is an ‘Outstanding’ rated school in Coventry, which caters for students with a wide variety of needs, tailoring individual curriculums for every pupil.

Over the past 18 months, the school has been working with the Lord’s Taverners charity, raising funds to purchase a state of the art minibus with wheelchair facilities.

This week, Wasps legend Paul Sackey was invited to join representatives from the Lord’s Taverners charity and Cricketing star Devon Malcolm, to visit the school and meet with staff and students to find out just what impact the new minibus will have on life at the school. 

Sackey, dressed in his Wasps gear caused quite a stir amongst pupils and staff, when taken on a tour of the school by the Head Boy and Head Girl. While visiting classrooms he took up the opportunity of purchasing sweets from the tuck shop, operated as a micro-enterprise by students and even donned an apron and got a lesson in making the perfect coffee by students running the on-site café.

“This place is full of inspiration and hands-on education, why aren’t all schools this exciting. It’s a real honour to be here today, to meet the students and see what a difference the minibus is going to make to them.”

Riverbank Academy Headteacher David Lisowski said: “We are an outstanding school, but haven’t been able to provide a genuinely outstanding experience for every pupil here, until now, because we didn’t have the correct vehicles to enable wheelchair users to go on trips and visits away from the school premises. With this new minibus from Lord’s Taverners, we will be able to transform educational experiences for every pupil, regardless of their mobility and the students are really excited about getting out and about.”

Craig Flindall, Chair of the West Midlands Region of Lord’s Taverners explained that the school had raised more than £17,000 towards the cost of the minibus:

“ The Lord’s Taverners Minibus Programme has been operating for more than forty years, and since the programme began in 1976 the charity has donated more than 1,150 minibuses to special schools and organisations throughout the UK, we are so pleased to be here at Riverbank Academy, which is a beacon of excellence for special schools nationally and internationally. We know how important this minibus is for them and how well it will be utilised by the pupils here.”

The minibus is adorned with bright green paint and sporty graphics and won’t be missed on the roads of Coventry over the coming months. Hopefully, we’ll see it parked up outside the Ricoh Arena in the future, bringing students to a home game or two…