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Children across York have had a cash boost.

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12:01am 25th July 2011

Children across York are set to benefit from a £1,000 donation after First buses were deemed to be some of the safest in the UK.

York Playspace, a charity dedicated to helping youngsters enjoy play, has been given a cheque for £1,000 by First in York.

The bus company’s James Street depot, which houses some 100 buses, was recently chosen as the best large bus depot in terms of safety at the annual FirstGroup National Safety Awards event. The company beat off competition from many other bus companies employing a total of 70,000 people to win the award.

One of the prizes for winning the prestigious award was a cheque for £1,000, to be given to a local charity of the company’s choice. The unanimous choice of staff was York Playspace, a charity set up five years ago to offer free play opportunities and chill out zones across the area.

And children who use the chill out zones were so happy to hear they had received the bumper cheque that they made a large thank you card that they presented to First staff who handed the cheque over.

First in York Operations Manager Peter Taylor said:

“We wanted to do something really positive with the money and give back to the community. We are very proud that our staff have been recognised for all the effort they put in to make our buses safe for the people of York and we are just glad to share this award with York youngsters."

York Playspace Manager Alison Shepherd said:

“We were absolutely thrilled to bits to get a call out of the blue from First. This donation really means a lot to us.

“We are constantly striving to raise money and it’s very difficult at the moment so this donation will really help us.”

The charity is staging 70 free open play space sessions in places like parks this year. As well as offering year round chill out zones in three areas of York.

The three teams of play workers arrive at pre-publicised venues for two-hour sessions and run a range of activities from sports to arts and crafts.

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