Minibus aquisition

This is a re-posting of an article I wrote way way back, it may be useful
minibus convoy.JPG The last six weeks has seen a steady stream of emergency type calls to the Youth Adviser hot desk. One of the recurring “emergencies” has been “Help, we need to get hold of a minibus to get to ………” Sadly I have no minibuses in my youth-work arsenal (although I’ve always wanted one I could trick up into an A Team type stylee).
Getting a minibus at the last minute is extremely difficult short of a commercial hire (TVR are my recommendation) but in preparation for next year here’s the Youthblog Minibus Scrounging Algorithm:
1. Minibuses are expensive so owners only lend them out to people they know/trust.
2. Build a relationship with the local School, Voluntary Youth Service or Community group that has a minibus.
3. Ensure that you have a driver that has a D1 on their licence and has completed whatever the local authority certification is. (and that you have a “small bus permit)
4. When you ask to borrow a bus be professional about it! Either write or ask (but if you ask follow it up with a letter). You need to detail your organisation, the event that you are taking a group to and why you are asking. Communicate that you have a suitably qualified driver who also has X years of experience at working with young people. Be very specific about when it will be collected and returned. Enquire as to what they’d charge so that you can build the figure into your budget. It’s also worth mentioning that “You appreciate them looking at this request for help from a community group”
5. If you get the bus then you now have a chance to shine. Do everything as stated in your letter AND return the BUS shinier, cleaner, tidier than its been since new to show your gratitude. (I was so embarrassed once on reading the log book of a minibus belonging to a local school that a local ‘christian’ group had written in the condition column, “Returned filthy as found!)
6. Write and thank the lending body!

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