Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice in Middlesbrough received a new Variety Sunshine Coach – generously funded by the Bingo Association in partnership with Variety, the Children’s Charity.

The hospice in Middlesbrough provides respite care for 35 babies and children, many of whom have highly complex genetic conditions and illnesses and require different levels of 24-hour support on a one to one basis.

The Sunshine Coach will definitely make a difference to the nursing staff, vounteers, children and their family. With space for up to 6 wheelchairs users, the nursing staff will take the children out for therapy sessions and special days away from the hospice without the worry and cost of hiring minibuses. Volunteer drivers will use the Sunshine Coach to bring parents travel to and from the hospice and attend hospital visits with their children.

Miles Baron, Bingo Association’s Chief Executive, handed the minibus keys – officially known as a Variety Sunshine Coach – to Anna Turley, Member of Parliament (MP) for Redcar on behalf of the staff at Zoë’s Place.

Miles Baron, Chief Executive of the Bingo Association said:

“More than 350 bingo clubs across the UK including the local Bingo club here in Redcar, helped make this very worthy donation of a Sunshine Coach possible. I am especially pleased to be here with Anna Turley in her Redcar constituency, who has been such a great supporter of the bingo industry in her role as Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Bingo since October 2016. This Sunshine Coach is the 25th donated by the Bingo Association since 2014. Being able to enhance the lives of very young children at a hospice such as Zoe’s place has been so rewarding”.

Anna Turley, MP for Redcar and Chair of the APPG for Bingo said:

“Zoe’s Place is an amazing local charity who provide the most special gift of love, compassion, and excellent care for families in really heart-breaking circumstances. I know they work extremely hard to raise funds to continue their work and the bus will be a fantastic addition to the service they can offer the children and their families.

“I would like to say a massive thank you to the Bingo Association, Variety and bingo players across the country whose generosity has delivered this gift. As Chair of the All Party Group for Bingo in Parliament and a friend of Beacon Bingo in Redcar, I have seen first-hand how bingo halls thrive on a brilliant community spirit. Their charity work with Variety is a shining example of that and I am so grateful to them for helping out children in our area facing the shortest of lives.”

Frances Lang, Chief Executive at Variety, the Children’s Charity said:

“The generosity of the Bingo Association, and the clubs across the country have directly touched the lives of many disadvantaged and disabled children around the UK. We are truly grateful for the Association’s continued support and delighted that the organisation has agreed to donate this Sunshine Coach to Zoe’s Place Hospice in Middlesbrough, in this our 70th year.”

This Sunshine Coach is the 25th donated by the Bingo Association since 2014.