An incredible new community initiative.
Community projects are all the rage right now, and while we’d certainly acknowledge the fact that it’s become quite the ‘trend’ since the pandemic began, it’s one we can totally get on board with. From overwhelming support for local food banks to help fight child food poverty, to BT’s wholesome initiative where locals were given the chance to transform an iconic red telephone box, there’s been plenty to get involved in. And now, putting the ‘us’ in ‘bus’, TfGM is giving Mancs the opportunity to get their hands on a decommissioned yellow school bus – for a good cause, of course.
Allowing both interested groups and schools to apply, the initiative allows locals to take advantage of the buses for the benefit of the community, with applicants encouraged to get as creative as they’d like when submitting an application. Entries are judged on several criteria, including originality, creativity and benefit to the community, meaning no idea is too big or too small for the project.
Whether it’s a new food bank your area is in need of, a place for new mothers to connect, or even a safe haven to talk for those in need – there are really no bounds when it comes to what you can suggest to TfGM for the project.
In previous years, Red Lane Primary School in Bolton used the scheme to create a pupil Wellbeing bus – using the space as somewhere that pupils could go when in need of social or emotional intervention. Another school, St. Stephen’s RC Primary School, used the project to create a quiet reading and tutoring area – which has proven incredibly popular with the pupils.
Transport for Greater Manchester Committee Chair, Councillor Mark Aldred, said: “Our yellow school buses are a fantastic service that allow children to get to school cheaply, safely and securely but, even when their life as a school service comes to an end, they can still be incredibly useful to communities.
“This scheme has been hugely successful when we have run it previously and I’ve been impressed with not just the creativity, but also the impact that previous projects have had on crucial issues such as child literacy and mental wellbeing.
“I’m really excited to see what community-spirited and thoughtful schemes people come up with this year as we hopefully continue to emerge from the pandemic and return to normality.”
Applications for the scheme opened just this week, and interested groups are encouraged to apply via their website before applications close on Friday 18th June. T&Cs, of course, do apply, so if you do want to submit an application, you can get familiar with the rules here.