St Oswald’s has today launched their brand new charity bus to coincide with yesterday’s Random Acts of Kindness day after two local bus companies generously supported us.
Ozzie Bus, whose name was chosen by St Oswald’s supporters in an online Facebook poll was gifted to us three years ago by Go North East and since then, St Oswald’s supporters from Arriva have been busy working to convert the bus into a multi-purpose charity bus.
Martin Hipkin, Engineering Manager from Arriva, kindly responded to our call for assistance and volunteered his Saturday mornings to provide vital engine maintenance and ensured the bus was road worthy. Arriva also allowed us to keep our bus at their depot in Jesmond throughout all of the vital repair work and bus fittings.
The charity bus now boasts many on-board facilities including a heating system and a kitchen and can be converted into everything from a meeting room to a shop or workshop facility. The bus will be multi-functional enabling staff and volunteers from across the hospice to use the bus to host pop-up shops, attend events, host workshops and seminars, meet supporters from across the region, and to hire the bus out to local businesses.
We deliberately chose to hold our launch event, where we've spent the day introducing the bus to our staff, volunteers and patients, to coincide with Random Acts of Kindness day so we could mark and celebrate the generosity of those who have helped prepare the bus for its launch.
Susan Freeman, Retail Area Manager at St Oswald’s, said:
We cannot thank Go North East and Arriva enough for their generous support and we couldn’t think of a better occasion to launch Ozzie Bus than as part of a national campaign to celebrate acts of kindness. Having a new bus opens up so many more opportunities for us as a charity and will give us the chance to increase our presence throughout the North East. As St Oswald’s needs to raise over £7.5 million each year in order to continue to provide high quality care, the bus will be another form of income generation and will give us the flexibility to fundraise in areas of the region where we currently don’t have a strong presence. We’ve had a brilliant reception at all the events we currently attend, and Ozzie Bus will allow us to attend even more. None of this would be possible without the kindness of Go North East, Arriva, and Martin Hipkin in particular, for all the support they’ve given to us. We already have some exciting events booked in the diary, including an Elmer themed event on Friday 22nd February in Newcastle City Centre and now our bus has been officially launched we’re really looking forward to getting out on the road and inviting our supporters on-board.
For more information about Ozzie Bus, click here.