New play bus set to put district children’s charity into the fast lane

PUBLISHED: 13:49 04 December 2018

The Buffy Playbus provides a space for children to play. Picture: PC

The Buffy Playbus provides a space for children to play. Picture: PC

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An Uttlesford children’s charity will be driving into a village near you on a new, refurbished double-decker bus.

The Uttlesford Buffy Bus Association, which serves Saffron Walden, Dunmow and nearby villages, has been awarded funding from the Big Lottery Reaching Communities Fund, allowing it to buy a new bus, which will replace its existing vehicle and be launched in the middle of next year.

The charity provides nursery-aged children with an opportunity to play and have fun in the playbus.

Mums, dads, grandparents and carers can relax, make friends within their community and enjoy seeing their children having fun on-board the bus.

During term-time, the service runs five days a week in Dunmow, Flitch Green, Thaxted, Saffron Walden, Hatfield Heath, Takeley, Carver Barracks, Stansted, Great Chesterford, Newport, Clavering, Debden and Rickling.

The new bus, which is second-hand, will be fully refurbished with more space and will allow the charity to reach more families and carers throughout the district and beyond, according to the charity.

The design of the double-decker will be informed by the views of users, with a focus on making the project more accessible to disabled children and other isolated groups.

The new service will also allow the charity to increase summer holiday activities and make better provision for access to the service at weekends.

Buffy Playbus project manager, Rosie Juhl, said: “In 2019 we will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of our organisation and the launch of our new bus, so I can’t think of a better way to mark the success of the project. Buffy was started by Jan Menell, chairman of Uttlesford District Council in 1993 and since the launch more than 90,000 people have come on-board.”

The cost for a child each time they visit the bus is £2.50, however this is a suggested donation.

There is no need to book a space and the bus has toilet and baby changing facilities on board.

The sessions are most suitable for children aged from 0 to 5-years-old.

For more information on plans for the new bus or to give your view on the bus’ design, contact Rosie Juhl on 01799 522130 or e-mail info@buffybus.co.uk visit www.buffybus.com.

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