Dying wish gets Motherwell school on the road

Pupils and staff at Bothwellpark High were delighted to receive the cash for a new mini-bus from Shetland Gas Plant's Claire Coen and Archie Cairney.

Pupils and staff at Bothwellpark High were delighted to receive the cash for a new mini-bus from Shetland Gas Plant's Claire Coen and Archie Cairney.

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A Motherwell school has been presented with £25,000 for a brand new minibus thanks to workers 400 miles away in Shetland.

They raised money for Bothwellpark High to salute a terminally ill colleague - and it all began with a humble raffle.

At Christmas Shetland Gas Plant employee Claire Coen, who has a sister at the school, organised a 50/50 draw with colleagues.

Around £600 was to go to the school to help its efforts to buy a minibus and draw winner Dave Coleman gave Bothwellpark his cash
prize too.

Earlier this year Dave was diagnosed with cancer and given just six months to live.

His colleagues wanted to raise money for him, but he told them to give it to the school instead.

Four months of intense fundraising followed including raffles, football cards, a hair-a-thon, weight loss challenges, personal donations and a social evening attended by ex-footballers Frank McAvennie, Andy Goram and Alan Rough and comedian Eric Davidson.

The employees raised £24,500, enough to buy a new minibus that will be named the Dave Coleman Express.

Bothwellpark headteacher Maria Neill said: “We use our bus every day and it is also used by the wider community, but it is starting to show its age.

“The last time we needed a new bus the fundraising took years until the Variety Club stepped in to help.

“To say I am overwhelmed that, thanks to Shetland Gas Plant and Dave Coleman, we have reached our target in just five months is an understatement. We cannot thank them enough.”

Claire and colleague Archie Cairney visited the school to present the money.

Claire said: “We were so inspired by Dave’s generosity that we were determined to get Bothwellpark its bus.

“The fundraising involved a lot of hard work, but the the generosity was
unbelievable.

“It is an excellent feeling to be able to give the school this money and we hope to have Dave with us to present the bus soon.”