Council chairman’s fundraising buys minibus for disabled students

The cheque for �4,312.91 is presented by Coun Yvonne Woodhead (centre) to Mark Dale and Tracey Horton, of Portland College.
The cheque for �4,312.91 is presented by Coun Yvonne Woodhead (centre) to Mark Dale and Tracey Horton, of Portland College.

Disabled students at Portland College in Mansfield are to get a new minibus thanks to the fundraising efforts of a council chairman.

Coun Yvonne Woodhead, who represents her home village of Blidworth, generated more than £4,300 during her year as chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council.

Now she has handed over a cheque to college bosses Mark Dale and Tracey Horton for the specially adapted minibus, which will help to improve the lives of students.

“I am extremely proud to have helped raise this money during my year in office,” said Coun Woodhead. “I am grateful to everyone who contributed their time, effort and money for such a fabulous cause. The minibus will make a world of difference to the quality of life for hundreds of students. I am thrilled.”

The college specialises in developing the employability, independence and communication skills of the disabled students. The minibus will open up many more opportunities, enabling them to go on leisure and educational visits, attend training at other centres, go on work-experience placements and get to medical appointments more easily and comfortably.

The money for the vehicle was raised through a variety of events overseen by Coun Woodhead. These included the annual Christmas Treecycle campaign, run with the council’s waste contractor Veolia, raffles, donations, a footgolf tournament, an auction and collections.

The charity cheque presentation was the culmination of an eventful year for the Labour councillor, who hands over her chain of office at the council’s annual meeting today (Thursday).

She added: “It has been an exciting, humbling and enlightening year, made special by all the people I have met. Among the highlights were hosting hundreds of children from school councils across the county, seeing England hit a six off the last ball to tie a thrilling cricket international at Trent Bridge and attending poignant events such as Holocaust Memorial Day, the 100-year commemoration of the Battle of Somme and the annual pilgrimage to the Crich memorial in Derbyshire. I am grateful to everyone who has supported, welcomed and advised me.”

Coun Woodhead’s work for Portland will continue as she takes up an invitation to join the college’s board, which she will combine with her duties as a county councillor and vice-chairman of Blidworth Parish Council.

Replacing her as county council chairman for 2017/18 is Coun John Handley, of Eastwood.