Ten's the winning number!
The Bingo Association gifts special schools with 10 new minibuses
Ten schools in England and Wales have each received a minibus to transport pupils with disabilities out into the community, where fun activities and everyday tasks - including food shopping - boost their learning and development.
The iconic Variety Sunshine Coaches were simultaneously wheeled out of a depot in Ken, during the first week of June and reached their various destinations by the end of that week. Schools wasted no time in making the most of the shiny new minibuses. Staff and pupils at one school piled into their one shortly after it arrived.
"We couldn't wait!" enthused Lesley Mavin, Headteacher of Columbia Grange School, which caters for 2 to 11 year olds with autism and learning difficulties.
"We have used the coach for lots of trips to places such as the supermarket where we bought ingredients for our teddy bears' picnic: the whole school, staff, parents, governors and pupils are really grateful to Variety and The Bingo Association for making our new minibus a reality."
As well as trips to supermarkets and cafes, zoos and theme parks are among the fabulous places special needs pupils have visited in their new Variety Sunshine Coaches. As Karen Alty, Headteacher of Holly Grove School remarked, trips in the minibus don't just provide fun for special needs kids, but a good education too.
The Bingo Association has now funded 22 Variety Sunshine Coaches over the last three years thanks to the fundraising efforts of the bingo industry, their staff and customers. The Bingo Association has now raised more than £1 million for Variety.
Miles Baron, Chief Executive of The Bingo Association heaped praise on the bingo industry. He said, "More than 350 bingo clubs across the UK make these very worthy donations of Sunshine Coaches possible and so I must thank the generous staff and bingo players for their support. As an industry we are delighted to be able to help more children get the most out of their childhood and reach their unique potential."
Colleen Ettridge, Head fo Fundraising, Variety, said, "Hundreds of children today are benefitting form the generosity of The Bingo Association, its members and their staff and customers, but over many years, thousands will benefit from this generosity, which enables you people with special needs to access learning and recreational facilities outside the school environment."
Variety has been improving the lives of young people who are sick, disabled and disadvantaged since 1949.
For more information on Variety, the children's charity visit: www.variety.org.uk