THE Shrubberies School in Stonehouse has taken delivery of a new £42,000 minibus – thanks to Gloucestershire children’s charity Pied Piper.

Charity chairman Nick Broady handed over the keys to the vehicle on Friday to headteacher Jane Jones and students.

The project has been a year in the making, with funding coming from Pied Piper, Hitchins Family Trust, Woodchester-based Gyde Charity and county cricketer Alex Gidman’s testimonial year..

“Our pupils have severe learning difficulties,” said Jane, who thanked the school’s PTA for driving the minibus bid. “And it’s really important that they’re part of the community.

“That’s what the minibus will do for them – it will allow them to access community facilities. We’re so excited about it, and we’re incredibly grateful to Pied Piper.”

Pied Piper, based at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, works with special schools across the county.

Nick, who took over as chairman of the charity in February, said: “Pied Piper exists for projects like this, and we’re hugely grateful to our amazing team of fundraisers and our supporters – especially Alex Gidman, who helped us fund this minibus.”

The charity was set up in 1992 to raise funds for a children’s centre at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. Since then it has raised over £3 million for disabled children.