St Albans school for deaf children hoping to run bus to help teach special needs children

Sarah Brinsden is on the left and the owner of the bus depot café, Michelle, is on rhe right

Sarah Brinsden is on the left and the owner of the bus depot café, Michelle, is on rhe right - Credit: Archant

A St Albans school is applying to run a bus café to help special needs children.

Heathlands School, which teaches deaf children, has applied to St Albans district council to site a single decker bus to be set up as a café and shop to teach special needs children life skills.

Teacher Sarah Brinsden said: “We will be using the bus for a range of activities which will prepare children and young people for adulthood.

“This includes running a community café so they can get qualifications such as food hygiene before they leave school to help towards getting a job.

“We also wanted to provide a place that parents can use.

“As we work with 25 different local authorities, some of them come a long way and need a space they can wait, or have the opportunity to chat with other parents, as they don’t meet on the playground like mainstream schools due to taxi collection.

“So hoping to use it as our parent-teacher association (PTA) base and a place we can run workshops, where they can get support from each other over a cup of tea.”

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It is also hoped the children will use it in other ways, such as a pop up nail bar.

The children could also use it for fundraising by selling ice creams and cakes.

Mrs Brinsden continued: “The bus is currently being refurbished to our specifications.

“We will have a small kitchen facility and open seating to allow deaf families and children to communicate through British Sign Language without visual barriers.

“This bus is an exciting space to be used by our whole community.

“We are proud our small PTA has managed to raise £3,500 towards the project so far and we are hoping to raise another £3,000 towards this project to get it up and running as quickly as possible.”

The bus would have sinks, worktop, a seating area and electricity for a water heater.

To see the application, visit St Albans district council’s website and look for planning application 5/2018/2842.

To contribute to the school’s fundraising, visit