Minibus legacy for former pupil, 24

Stephen Swallow hands over the minibus keys to Fiona Wafer the Business Manager at Pear Tree Specialist School, Kirkham

Stephen Swallow hands over the minibus keys to Fiona Wafer the Business Manager at Pear Tree Specialist School, Kirkham

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A lasting legacy to a severely disabled woman who died aged 24 has been unveiled at her former school.

The specially adapted minibus was presented yesterday to Pear Tree Specialist School, in Kirkham, in memory of ex-pupil Lindsey Swallow after her father Stephen co-ordinated a series of fund raising events to help buy it.

The bus is designed to make it easier for disabled people to use and more than £20,000 was raised to pay for it.

Stephen, 54, of Raikes Parade, central Blackpool, said: “We know that the vehicle will last – it’s her name and her legacy will carry on at that school.

“The children gave us a little presentation on what the minibus means to them and it was phenomenal to see.”

Before she was a year old Lindsey, known as Linny, underwent open heart surgery, and throughout her life she suffered dislocated hips, had digits missing from her right hand, had vision problems and was 85 per cent deaf.

She died at home in August last year.

Fund-raising events for the bus included a gruelling 217 mile coast to coast bike ride from Southport to Hornsea, in Yorkshire, as well as bucket collections and charity nights.

Stephen added: “It’s an achievement and lots of people have given up their time for free.

“It’s been a big team effort and we want to say thank you to all the people involved.”

The school caters for disabled children from across the Fylde coast between the ages of two and 19.

Fiona Wafer, the school’s business manager, said: “We’re all so pleased with the bus because it’s just going to be a fantastic resource for us to use.

“There’s a beautiful picture of Lindsey at the front of the bus and we’re just really pleased and grateful to everyone who raised funds for us.”