17 September

Cranbrook school gets solar powered wellbeing bus thanks to our community volunteers

We are delighted to have worked with volunteers from the Exeter community to upcycle an unused public to create a wellbeing hub for students at St Martins school in Cranbrook
Volunteers with the upcycled bus

We are delighted to have worked with volunteers from the Exeter community to help upcycle and transform an unused public bus to create a wellbeing hub for students from St Martins school in Cranbrook, their parents and the local community.

The St Martins bus hub will be a welcoming safe space for children and their parents to meet, socialise and enjoy time together in group activities. Two newly built workspaces will provide the opportunity for young people to get away from the classroom and learn in a smaller, quieter environment. The bus will also be used for school events like sports days and fetes. 

With the height of the pandemic seeing a decline in student’s mental health, the school has taken steps to ensure students, parents and the community of Cranbrook have a new welcoming space to use, ready for the return of the new school year this month.

Lesley Browne, Community Connector at LiveWest, said: “Our LiveWest volunteers have pulled out all the stops to complete this innovative bus project for the school community. 

“The wellbeing of our residents is important to us, so community initiatives such as this are something we really want to contribute to in time, financially and in this case also physical and technical effort from our volunteers.

“The work to transform the upcycled bus has involved a team of six LiveWest colleagues from across the organisation.

“LiveWest colleagues have completed the electrical work and refitted the interior of the bus to create a kitchenette and servery section as well as small workspace areas, some of the volunteers also live in Cranbrook and were delighted to be able to work on a project that would make such a positive difference for the community.”

Upcycled bus


Russell Green, Inclusion Lead Teacher at St Martins Primary School, Cranbrook, said: “We are all so grateful to have had help from LiveWest and other local companies. Last year was tough for everybody but especially young people and we are glad we can do something a uniquely different to help our students.”

Gary Taylor, Team Leader IMS Technical Supervisor at LiveWest said: “It feels great to give something back to the local community. We have spent hours thinking about designs for the bus to best use the space, our team hope it makes a real difference to the young people.”

The bus is adorned with artwork from a local artist after we provided a £1000 supporting communities grant for the painting skills. Exeter College students have worked hard to provide planters to decorate the outside of the bus. Local contractor City Electric Factors have donated all the additional electric sockets and wiring.

Cranbrook Town Council have provided a grant to part fund the solar panels providing an opportunity to teach the children about sustainability.

Our volunteering programme is open to all colleagues in order for them to have the opportunity to give something back to their local communities.

For more information on how to get involved, visit My Community.

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