Mini-bus gift for Benjamin Foundation

A RAGS to riches fortune founded on rabbit skins has bought a brand-new minibus for youngsters with special needs in north Norfolk.The £38,000, 15-seater, vehicle was handed over to the Benjamin Foundation last week by solicitor David Tams, chairman of the trustees of the Edith Murphy Foundation.

A RAGS to riches fortune founded on rabbit skins has bought a brand-new minibus for youngsters with special needs in north Norfolk.

The £38,000, 15-seater, vehicle was handed over to the Benjamin Foundation last week by solicitor David Tams, chairman of the trustees of the Edith Murphy Foundation.

It would help ensure young people with special needs in rural areas were not isolated and could take part in social activities, said Benjamin chairman Judith Mitchell.

Mrs Murphy, who died three years ago, set up her foundation in Leicester to help good causes benefit from the fortune amassed by her late husband.

He came to England in the 1930s from a rural Irish background where he had no formal education and gradually worked his way to wealth, starting by dealing in rabbit skins and moving into scrap metal, war surplus, open-cast coal and, finally, property.

Mr Tams and his wife Susan have retired from Leicester to north Norfolk, where they have enjoyed holidays for many years.

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He heard that a replacement minibus was on the Benjamin Foundation's wish list while attending one of the charity's regular fund-raising lunches at North Walsham's Beechwood Hotel.

“The old special needs bus was at the end of its useful life and they needed another. I spoke to my fellow trustees and they readily said 'OK, we will finance it,'” said Mr Tams.

The Edith Murphy Foundation had supported causes ranging from medical research to children in Africa, he added.

Mrs Mitchell said they were extremely grateful for the donation. The bus will be used to transport people to and from a special needs group run by the Benjamin Foundation in Wells-next-the-Sea.

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