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We've revved up a year of fundraising for children’s charity When You Wish Upon a Star by treating a bus-mad Mansfield three-year-old to a VIP day on board, including having a bus named after him.
Harley Dargue, who has renal failure and has needed dialysis since he was six days old, is now one of more than 16,000 children with a life threatening illness whose wishes have been granted by the Nottingham-based charity.
Together with mum Zoe, Harley was picked up from home in a trentbarton threes bus and taken to the firm’s Sutton depot for a behind the scenes tour and even a drive through the bus wash.
Harley is hoping to get a transplant this year of a kidney donated by his dad Kenny, said Zoe. “Harley is crazy about anything with wheels, so woke up very excited when he knew a bus was coming for him. He’s really enjoyed it.”
Zoe said it was a lovely surprise was to find out that the threes bus has been named Harley and will be busily carrying passengers every day between Mansfield and Nottingham: “There’s a good chance we will be getting on Harley’s bus on the routes we use.”
When You Wish Upon a Star was chosen by trentbarton staff to be the company’s charity for 2016. A year of fundraising and events lie ahead, including the Namesake initiative in which anyone can name a trentbarton bus for £100 with all the money going to its charity of the year. trentbarton is donating the first £100 for Harley’s bus naming.
Namesake was launched by bus enthusiast Heather Ward with trentbarton in 1991 and raised £100,000 for Derby’s breast cancer unit. Heather has now taken a back seat but trentbarton is proudly continuing Namesake.
Liz Credgington, corporate fundraiser at When You Wish Upon a Star, said: “We are so pleased we were able to grant Harley’s wish of spending the day surrounded by buses – a dream come true for him. Harley loved every minute of it and we are so thankful that trentbarton helped us to make this possible.
“Watching children’s wildest dreams come true – no matter how big or small, is amazing and is the reason When You Wish Upon a Star was set up by our founder. The children we grant wishes for are seriously ill and many spend a lot of time at hospital and miss out on valuable childhood memories. By granting their wish, we are able to give a child an experience they and their family will never forget – and hopefully give them back part of their childhood too, in a special way.”
Allan Gilmour, trentbarton’s threes team leader, said: “The smile on Harley’s face really sums up what this wonderful charity does for so many children. We are thrilled to be supporting its work throughout 2016.”