Walking Bus benefits whole community

Staff, parents and classmates from Valley Invicta Primary at Holborough Lakes at the launch of the primary’s Walking Bus. Picture: John Westhrop

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A Snodland primary is the latest school to catch the green-travel bug.

With the help of the KM Charity Team, Valley Invicta Primary School at Holborough Lakes has officially launched a Walking Bus to make it easier for families to take a more eco-friendly approach to school drop-offs and pick-ups.

The primary hopes both the school and the community will benefit from more active, healthier pupils, improved road safety, and less congestion and pollution.

The Walking Bus was officially launched at a special assembly attended by pupils, KM Charity Team staff, and parent helpers and community supporters of the scheme.

Head teacher Lisa Vickers said: “We are delighted to have launched our Walking Bus today. It’s beneficial in so many ways.

“It encourages the children to exercise, improves road safety, and decreases pollution.

“We are very grateful to our parent helpers for their commitment to the initiative, and also to the KM Charity Team and sponsors who have supported us so well.”

Six-year-old Ifunanya. Picture: John Westhrop

The Walking Bus currently collects 12 children from around the Holborough Lakes development, starting at the park and ending at the school in plenty of time for morning registration.

It is hoped that numbers will grow considerably with the start of the new academic year in September.

The VIPs from supporter organisations attending the launch were Emily Geeson from Countrystyle Recycling, Julia Slade from Kent County Council, Yve Dixon from Specsavers and Erin Hawkes and Charlie Haley from Volker Highways.

They handed out Walking Bus certificates, sticker cards and badges, and free-entry vouchers to Leeds Castle and the Historic Dockyard Chatham.

KM Charity Team education manager Karen Brinkman said: “We are thrilled to be able to come to Holborough Lakes and not only see the Walking Bus in action, but to also give the children who are part of it a certificate and some goodies as a reward.

“We hope to be launching additional routes with more children from Holborough Lakes very soon.”

Walking Bus is part of the KM Charity Team Walk to School campaign, which encourages families to help the environment and get active by swapping car journeys for green travel.

Youngsters taking part in Walking Bus are supervised by parent volunteers as they walk along a set route.

Children are collected at pre-arranged points, and parents take turns in escorting them to and from school.

Everyone involved wears high-visibility tabards provided free by the KM Charity Team. Adult volunteers are police-checked, and routes are approved by the council.

In addition to Countrystyle Recycling, Kent County Council, Specsavers and Volker Highways, Walk to School is supported by White’s Transport, Ashford International Hotel, Orbit, Golding Vision, Eurostar, Three R’s Teacher Recruitment, Whitefriars, and Maidstone, Ashford, Medway and Bexley councils.

Schools interested in starting a walking bus should contact Karen Brinkman at kbrinkman@thekmgroup.co.uk or call 0844 264 0291. Alternatively, find out more here.

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