Charity launches therapy bus to support youngsters’ mental wellbeing

Oxfordshire based charity At The Bus this week launched its inaugural converted art therapy bus that will tour the county providing mental wellbeing support to youngsters.

The charity which is based at the Cherwell School uses art as a therapy intervention to support children and young people who experience a variety of life challenges. The double-decker bus was provided by Oxford Bus Company in support of the charity who then converted it at the bus depot. It means the charity will be able to provide key therapeutic services to children and young people in partnership with schools in Oxfordshire to enhance mental wellbeing, alleviate anxiety, develop resilience, self-esteem and independence.

The bus was unveiled at the weekend at the Cherwell School, Marston Ferry Road, Oxford.

The charity’s three patrons artist Jenny Saville, actor Juliet Stevenson and designer Camille Walala who designed the exterior of the bus were joined by its founder Dr Juli Beattie and Oxford Bus Company Managing Director Phil Southall amongst other dignitaries.

Dr Beattie of At The Bus said: “This is a much-needed resource, and we are looking forward to working with children across the county. The mental wellbeing of our young people is in crisis and At The Bus will make a real difference to support their wellbeing and education. We are incredibly grateful to the generosity and charitable goodwill of Oxford Bus Company who have gone above and beyond to help make this a reality.”

Phil Southall, Oxford Bus Company Managing Director said: “It is fantastic to see the bus out and about to facilitate this valuable work. The vision and work of At The Bus really resonated with us and we were delighted to help bring the concept to fruition to enable the charity to deliver vital services in our communities.”

At The Bus students work in small groups led by experienced facilitators trained in the Beattie Method, a creative therapeutic intervention that supports mental wellbeing. The double decker offers a calm, safe space within a school site for students to access. It is hoped the service will expand nationwide in the future.

Oxford Bus Company

The Oxford Bus group of companies has connected passengers across Oxford, South Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Reading since 1881.

Phil Southall

Managing Director

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