Complaints Procedure

Variety, the Children’s Charity, is committed to maintaining high standards across all aspects of our work. 

The services we provide for children and young people, plus the funds we need to raise to facilitate our work, means tens of thousands of children and adults engage with Variety every year as beneficiaries, donors and volunteers.

The range of services we provide is extensive but, to minimise our costs, our services are managed by a small head office team supported by our regions and volunteers. We recognise that despite our best endeavours, processes and training there is always the possibility that we may fail to meet our own high standards on occasion. 

What to do if you have a complaint

The first thing we want you to do is to tell us. If we do not know the problem, we cannot begin to fix it for you.

All complaints are directed to our Chief Barker to ensure they receive a high priority.

How to contact us

Often the easiest way for you to register a complaint, and for us to resolve it, is by phone. Simply call 0207 428 8100, Our phone lines are open Monday to Friday from 09:00 – 17:00

You can email us at complaints@variety.org.uk

You can also write to us at

Nick Shattock
Chief Barker
Variety, the Children’s Charity
97 Bayham Street
London
NW1 0AG

What we will do on receiving your complaint

  • We’ll listen, record your complaint and advise you how it will be handled.
  • We’ll investigate whenever necessary.
  • We’ll take action to resolve the problem and tell you what that action is
  • We’ll take steps to avoid a repeat occurrence.

At all times we will treat you with understanding and respect. All we ask is that you do the same for our staff.

Confidential information in relation to your complaint will be handled sensitively.

We are not able to respond to anonymous complaints or matters for which the Charity is not directly responsible.

Please note that Variety does not use any cold calling techniques, directly or via third parties, as part of its fundraising programme.

Complaint response times

We would appreciate your understanding that, with limited resources, we cannot always respond to your complaint immediately, although we will whenever we can.

You will receive an initial acknowledgement and/or response within ten working days of receipt of your complaint and we expect to resolve most problems in that time.

Where a more in-depth investigation is required we aim to provide a full response within 20 working days. If there are exceptional circumstances, where that is not possible, we will advise you.

What constitutes a legitimate complaint?

We regard a legitimate complaint as any expression of dissatisfaction with any aspect of Variety, the Children’s Charity which is under the control of the Charity,  its staff or volunteers.

What if our response does not satisfy you?

If your complaint relates to fundraising, and we are unable to resolve it to your satisfaction, you can refer it to the Fundraising Regulator, the independent regulator of charitable fundraising of which Variety is a member. They can be contacted via their website www.fundraisingregulator.org.uk or  at 2nd floor, CAN Mezzanine Building, 49-51 East Road, London, N1 6AH  Tel: 0300 999 3407

Ultimately, you have recourse to the online complaint form at the Charity Commission www.charitycommission.gov.uk

What to do if you have a complaint about a Variety Sunshine Coach

There are more than 1000 Sunshine Coaches on the road all over the UK and each year we are made aware of small number of occasions, when a concerned member of the public feels they are being driven dangerously or used inappropriately. We take all complaints relating to Sunshine Coaches seriously, especially if this concerns the safety of children, passengers, pedestrians and other road users. If you are concerned that a criminal offence may have been committed, then please report this directly to the police.

Variety does not own or have responsibility for maintaining any of the vehicles carrying the Sunshine Coach brand. They are owned by and legally registered to the schools and community organisations to which they have been donated. This means we have no control over their day-to-day use. As a responsible charity we do, of course, remain in contact with all of our coach beneficiaries and we always pass on every complaint we receive. 
If you are concerned about how a Sunshine Coach is being driven or the purposes for which it is being used and know which school or organisation owns the minibus, please contact them directly. Vehicle owners always find it most helpful to hear directly from the person who reported the issue.

If you are unsure who the owner is or feel uncomfortable about being in direct contact with them, you can send us an e-mail to complaints@variety.org.uk giving the registration number of the vehicle and outlining your concern. If you have taken any photographs of the incident or circumstances, please attach them to your e-mail. It’s really important that we have the registration number as without this we won’t be able to establish the registered owner of the vehicle and will be unable to pass on your concerns. 

If you have directed your complaint to us here at Variety, you will hear back from us within three working days and we’ll ask you if you are happy for us to pass your contact details on to the registered owner so that they can respond to you directly. Under our data protection policy, we can’t pass on your details unless you explicitly give us permission to do so. If you were able to give us the registration number, we will provide you with contact details for the owner so you can pursue you complaint directly with them if you would prefer to do that.

If you would like us to forward your complaint to the vehicle owner, we will do that together with your contact details if appropriate. Please be aware that if you want to receive feedback from the school or organisation concerned, you will need to provide contact details so that they can get in touch with you directly as we are unable to forward responses on a vehicle owner’s behalf. Once they are aware of a problem, it is the owner’s responsibility to take any necessary action and advise the complainant of what they have done to rectify the situation.

For all other queries relating to a Variety Sunshine Coach please contact the Sunshine Coach Co-ordinator Dragana via dragana.stojanovic@variety.org.uk