Cranford school pupils thank 'incredible' and 'generous' dad for minibus donation

The minibus was a gift to the school

Monday, 26th April 2021, 9:55 am
Updated Monday, 26th April 2021, 9:56 am

Some parents might support their child's school by giving a tin of beans at a harvest festival or sending in a raffle prize - but one dad has done his bit by donating a brand new minibus.

Pupils at Cranford CE Primary School will now be able to go on 'mini adventures', school trips and sporting fixtures without having to hire transport for teams and year groups.

Headteacher Richard Albert had put a minibus on his school bucket list, that he shared with the school's Friends group, and was astonished when he received the email with the offer of the brand new 17-seater vehicle from parent Alex Murphy.

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Head teacher Richard Albert with parent Alex Murphy who donated the minibus to the school

He said: "I was totally delighted. I didn't expect a brand new vehicle. We are really very grateful. It's incredible and Alex is a very generous man - a philanthropist.

"He approached us about a month ago and asked 'would you allow me to donate this?'. He designed the graphics too which reflect the school's ethos."

The colourful decals on the side of the bus say 'Working together for all of our children to prosper, be full of hope and be excited about their future'.

Because of the small year group size, classes will be able to travel all together on the minibus with their teacher and teaching assistant.

Mr Murphy with some of the pupils and Mr Albert with the minibus

Mr Murphy, 44, said: "It is my power to be philanthropic and altruistic. Mr Albert has been mentioning the minibus for some years and I wanted to make his dream come true.

"The school has been very welcoming to my son and I've tried to help. Now him and his schoolmates will have mini adventures.

"It is really important to me for him to know about giving. It's something I take very seriously and I want to pass it on. It's not all about taking, it's about giving."

Mr Murphy's family firm, Bedfordshire-based Dunster House, designs and supplies business and leisure garden products.

The designs

He added: "I like to help animal rescue charities and schools and also humanitarian projects overseas.

"The reaction from the children has been honest happiness. It's one thing I can do and I am happy to help."

As a result of becoming minibus owners, the cost of attending events away from school will be dramatically reduced enabling children to attend events without parents being asked for a contribution towards coach hire.

The minibus has been named Paddington after the famous bear and has a copy of his famous label saying 'please look after this bus'.

Eleven-year-old James Stear with the keys to the minibus.

Pupils can't wait to go on their first school outing and they have been coming up with ideas for their first trips.

Oliver, seven, said: "It's really good. I'd like to go to the Natural History Museum.

Seven-year-old Hazel said: "I'd like to go to the zoo to see tigers."

Imogen, six, said: "It's really exciting to have the minibus. I would like to go to West Lodge Rural Centre to see the horses and donkeys."

Mr Albert added: "I'd like to say a huge thank you to Alex and all at Dunster House for their generous gift."

Mr Murphy designed the graphics
The children will use the minibus to go on day trips and residentials