Youngsters from a school for deaf children have launched an appeal for a new minibus.
Following a spate of vandalism, Royal Cross Primary School was overwhelmed with offers of help from the community to keep their bus on the road.
But now the Elswick Road school has decided the time has come to start raising funds for a replacement bus, and a new garage to keep it safe at night.
Children welcomed the Mayor of Preston Coun Veronica Afrin to launch their appeal, in what the headteacher described as a “very special occasion”.
Royal Cross is Lancashire’s only school for deaf children, and relies on a minibus for educational visits and links with mainstream schools, to develop children’s language and communication skills.
Headteacher Ruth Bonney said: “It was an important day, and having special guests to launch the appeal introduced the children to the dignitaries.
“They all stood up as they came into the hall and it gave them the sense of occasion.”
Laura Jolliffe, chairman of the PTFA, organised the special assembly to launch the campaign.
Children gave a signed performance of The Wheels on the Bus, and the Mayor congratulated six-year-old Cadey Hammerton for her winning design of a logo for the minibus appeal.
Mrs Bonney said: “We showed a presentation of lots of different slides of the children using the bus, going out and about enjoying the trips and educational visits.
“They have to learn from first hand experiences to develop their language and vocabulary.
“The bus is a vital link to curriculum experiences and developing the children’s vocabulary in context, because they understand what words mean so it can be used to reinforce language learning.
“It is extremely important to have these means of transport to go out and do this, and also to work with the local community.”
Mrs Bonney said the children were delighted to have a visit from the Mayor and said: “We are really grateful she came along to support it because we do feel a special bond with Preston and the community around here.”
The school is aiming to raise about £40,000 over the next 12 months, and will be hosting events to help raise the money.