The 136 children of Old Park School in Dudley were thrilled when on a bright sunshiny day their brand new Variety Sunshine coach arrived at the school.

Old Park School is a large community special school that caters for children, aged between 3 and 19, with severe, profound and complex learning difficulties. Many children have sensory impairment and complex medical conditions and a significant number are severely autistic. All the pupils have communication difficulties and many have challenging behaviours.

Photo: Some of the pupils and the school’s fundraising volunteers

The coach will be essential for providing all pupils with new learning opportunities which have been denied them in the past because of transport difficulties. The amount of time pupils have offsite is assessed according to their level of need. Some pupils have weekly offsite learning (integration with mainstream schools, community visits, visits associated with their curriculum, college courses), others go out for the whole day. The new coach will replace one of the school`s old buses which has now become unreliable with constantly increasing maintenance costs and will be used on a daily basis.

Photo: Gill Cartwright OBE proudly receives the keys of the coach from Ralph Holden, Chair of Variety’s Midlands Committee.

Variety is immensely grateful to all our supporters and sponsors who enable us to continue providing these vitally needed Sunshine Coaches.