Oxfordshire-based charity At The Bus has launched its inaugural converted art therapy vehicle which will tour the county providing mental wellbeing support to youngsters.

The charity, which is based at the Cherwell School in Oxford uses art as a therapy intervention to support children and young people who experience a variety of life challenges.

The double-decker bus was provided by Oxford Bus Company in support of the charity.

The charity then converted it at the bus depot.

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It means the charity will be able to provide key therapeutic services to children and young people in partnership with schools in Oxfordshire to enhance mental wellbeing, alleviate anxiety, develop resilience, self-esteem and independence.

The bus was unveiled at the weekend at the school in Marston Ferry Road.

The charity’s three patrons, artist Jenny Saville, actor Juliet Stevenson and designer Camille Walala who designed the exterior of the bus were joined by its founder Dr Juli Beattie and Oxford Bus Company managing director Phil Southall amongst other dignitaries.

Dr Beattie, of At The Bus, said: “This is a much-needed resource, and we are looking forward to working with children across the county.

“The mental wellbeing of our young people is in crisis and At The Bus will make a real difference to support their wellbeing and education.

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“We are incredibly grateful to the generosity and charitable goodwill of Oxford Bus Company who have gone above and beyond to help make this a reality.”

Phil Southall, Oxford Bus Company Managing Director said: “It is fantastic to see the bus out and about to facilitate this valuable work. The vision and work of At The Bus really resonated with us and we were delighted to help bring the concept to fruition to enable the charity to deliver vital services in our communities.”

At The Bus students work in small groups led by experienced facilitators trained in the Beattie Method, a creative therapeutic intervention that supports mental wellbeing.

The double decker offers a calm, safe space within a school site for students to access.

It is hoped the service will expand nationwide in the future.

The charity’s website said: “Young people are referred to At The Bus for a wide range of different reasons; including low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, bereavement, trauma and loss. Some may be bullied or bullies. Some may have recently arrived in this country. Some may be withdrawn, some may be disengaged from education. Carefully planned, timetabled weekly sessions within school hours are delivered.”