After 10 months of waiting, residents and staff of Vanderhoof’s Stuart Nechako Manor are set to hit the road.
The facility received its replacement recreation bus in late October. The new wheels will be used to transport residents to parks, events, and attractions around the community.
The facility’s former bus needed major repairs and was deemed unsafe to use, so staff in Vanderhoof set out to raise funds to purchase a new one. After reaching their goal of over $204,000 through grants and the generous gifts of community donors, the new bus was ordered in December 2022.
The bus is a brand-new build incorporating several key features including an expanded wheelchair lift for oversized and motorized chairs and six wheelchair anchor positions – an upgrade from four – to allow more residents to join in the fun.
To celebrate the bus’s arrival, staff and residents invited family, community members, and donors to a ribbon-cutting and BBQ with an opportunity to view the new bus. Over 50 people attended, enjoying hotdogs and cake while exploring the new vehicle.
“It feels good. We’ve been out on a few outings already -- a nice cozy fall drive, visited our Co-op mall for lunch, and the residents were very excited about it. They’re happy to get out,” says resident recreation therapist Marnie Bell. “It feels good to remove those barriers for some of our residents. Families are excited to see their loved ones being able to enjoy the outdoors more easily.”
Congratulations to the community’s generous donors and the hard-working and dedicated staff who made this new bus a reality, and to the residents of Stuart Nechako Manor, who will be able to enjoy the bus for years to come!