CHILDREN at a York special school will benefit from a new 14-seater mini-bus after an extremely generous donation.

Hob Moor Oaks Academy in Acomb has been handed the keys to the sunshine coach thanks to the generosity of a Harrogate-based drinks manufacturer and retail company, The Spirit of Harrogate.

Hob Moor Oaks is part of a federation with Hob Moor Community Primary Academy and both schools are part of Ebor Academy Trust.

The Oaks offer a range of learning environments which help to address children’s barriers to learning. Spacious classrooms include ceiling tracking hoists and accessible changing facilities.

All children have either mild, severe or profound and multiple learning disabilities, with a high proportion of children also having autism spectrum disorder.

This coach will enable the school to take more children out to access a range of activities such as swimming, donkey rides, educational trips and transitional visits to secondary schools.

Marcus Black and Mike Carthy of The Spirit of Harrogate said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring this Sunshine Coach, which will benefit the very deserving children and young people of Hob Moor Oaks, enabling them to have vital learning experiences outside the classroom.”

Olivia Hargreaves, from Hob Moor Oaks, said: “We are grateful to The Spirit of Harrogate for their very generous sponsorship.

"The coach is vital to help us add new experiences and enhance the quality of life for our children.”

The Hob Moor Oaks children themselves are very appreciative too and in a special assembly, presented the Harrogate company with thank-you cards and pictures.

Ebor was established in 2013 when Robert Wilkinson Primary School was asked to help Haxby Road Primary.

Both schools becoming academies was the best way to make that happen.

Since then, small village schools, large urban schools, schools in challenging circumstances and those which have capacity to support others have all joined the trust.

As well as in York, Ebor now has schools in Tadcaster, Selby, the East Riding and The Humber and on the Yorkshire Coast.

In York, with the Hob Moor schools, Ebor consists of Robert Wilkinson Primary Academy, Haxby Road Primary Academy, Park Grove Primary Academy, Lakeside Primary Academy and Osbaldwick.