Formartine United project opens doors for local school

Pitmedden School pupils along with Formartine United's community bus and sponsor Mark Astridge of Morrison Motors, Eleanor Morris of Udny Community Trust Company, Head teacher Janet Hill, Cameron Loggie of Central Coaches Aberdeen - Transport sponsors to Formartine United, club secretary and commercial director Martin Johnston
Pitmedden School pupils along with Formartine United's community bus and sponsor Mark Astridge of Morrison Motors, Eleanor Morris of Udny Community Trust Company, Head teacher Janet Hill, Cameron Loggie of Central Coaches Aberdeen - Transport sponsors to Formartine United, club secretary and commercial director Martin Johnston
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A North-east primary school have shared how use of a football club’s community bus has allowed them to go on trips they may not have gone on otherwise.

Formartine United Football Club have been offering up their 17 seater minibus to local primary schools and groups free of charge.

Pitmedden Primary School have been taking up the club’s generous offer since last Easter.

Head teacher Janet Hill said that it has been a huge boost for the school.

She told the Times: “It has been a great opportunity for us - we have enjoyed trips to Haddo, Bennachie and Forvie Beach.

“Buses are so expensive for us as a school and we can use the community bus to go out in smaller groups - it is superb.

“One of our teacher’s trained on a two-day course to get a license to drive the bus.

”It lets us develop our outdoor learning which is very important.”

Janet added that the school hope to get parents trained to drive the bus to take pupils out for netball matches.

The club officially launched the project in January to six local schools with Pitmedden taking full advantage of the service.

Club secretary and commercial director Martin Johnston added that anyone interested in driving the bus must meet certain conditions such as being over the age of 25 and attend training.

He said: “Udny Community Trust Company have advised that funding may be available for organisations to receive driver training.

“We are inviting local schools and groups to get in touch.”

Eleanor Morris of Udny Community Trust Community said: “With skills for training if we can offer a way to organise funding for drivers for the community bus that is something we would be absolutely delighted to look at.

“We have also suggested organising a system for groups sitting idle who could use the bus such as preschool groups, playgroups, guides, scouts and rangers.”

Sponsors Mark Astridge of Morrison Motors said it was great to be involved in a venture which was involving the community.

Cameron Loggie of Central Coaches, Aberdeen, are Transport Sponsors to Formartine United and have enjoyed a long relationship with the club.

Cameron said that the aim is for more schools to make use of the community bus in future.