Pupils at Ravenscliffe High School and Sports College in Halifax, Yorkshire, were given a special treat when members of the iconic pop group, The Manfreds, visited the school to present a Variety Sunshine coach and also take part in a ‘jamming’ session during a celebratory assembly.

The Variety Sunshine Coach Programme was established by Variety, the Children’s Charity, in 1962 to provide accessible transport for disabled and disadvantaged children and young people.

Over the course of nearly 50 years, Variety has provided thousands of coaches to schools, respite care homes, hospitals, youth projects and hospices across the United Kingdom.

The Manfreds, said:

“We chose Variety, the children’s charity, as our charity for this year because it is our 50th Anniversary and, as well as celebrating a 50 year career from the launch of Manfred Mann to the current line-up of The Manfreds, we like to encourage the learning/teaching of music to young children of all walks of life… music has no barriers!

Ravenscliffe High School is Calderdale’s only secondary high school catering for 139 students aged 11-19 pupils with a wide range of special educational needs, including learning difficulties, sensory impairment, and physical disabilities.

The school is heavily oversubscribed with record numbers on roll. This new minibus will make a significant impact in extending the learning opportunities presented to its students within the wider community.

The school’s Head teacher, Martin Moorman, said:

“The Sunshine Coaches play a pivotal role in helping our pupils to get out and about and involved in the community.”

“The coaches enable us to transport the children on specialist vehicles on a wide variety of outings. These include work experience placements, swimming lessons at Halifax Pool, specialist sporting and musical events and weekly residential visits to Outdoor Pursuit centres in the North of England.”

“The children were very excited about The Manfred’s visit, especially as our school has a major strength in music, and to have the opportunity to play along with such talented musicians was a really memorable experience.”