Manchester City FC donates accessible minibus to hospice

Published:  16 February, 2012

St. Ann's Hospice in Manchester has received a brand new Renault Master Wheelchair Accessible Minibus, to aid its management of around 3,000 patients, relatives and carers in and around the Greater Manchester area.

The hospice, the largest in the north of England, celebrates its 40th Anniversary in 2011 of providing care to adults who are affected by life limiting illness.

The new minibus, donated by Manchester City Football Club, was sourced and built in a very short timescale of just three weeks by conversion and mobility specialist Stanford Coachworks Ltd.

The handover took place on 22nd June 2011, at St Ann's Hospice in Heald Green, and was greeted by a large and excited audience. The event was attended by special guests including previous Manchester City football players Mike Summerbee and Paul Lake, City in the Community Managing Director Sarah Lynch, St Ann's Finance Director Liam McCarthy, and Stanford Coachwork's representatives David Hardacre and David Wiggins.

To the surprise of all who attended, the FA Cup was displayed alongside the bus, players and patients.

The Renault special purpose conversion has six passenger seats together with three wheelchair passengers, plus the driver, a specialist Ricon wheelchair lift and has external livery branded for St Ann's and Manchester City Football Club. Due to the large catchment area the Hospice serves, it is believed that the new accessible vehicle will be a real benefit.

“We previously supplied two buses to St. Ann's four years ago and as there is a current shortage of smaller vehicles with no MWB Peugeot Fiat or Citroen vehicles available at the time, I managed to locate a 3500LWB Renault Master,” explained David of Stanford Coachworks.

“Slightly larger than the vehicle initially required, it does allow an additional wheelchair space in the minibus which the Hospice have said will be useful.”

The minibus went into immediate service on the day of the handover and has been a welcome addition to the hospice's transport facility.

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