The former owner of Express Newspapers, Channel 5, OK! Magazine and founder of Northern and Shell and The Health Lottery has supported Variety, the Children’s Charity for over 40 years. The Desmond Foundation has donated a Variety Sunshine Coach almost every year over the 40 years to schools and organisations across the UK.

Richard and Joy Desmond have gifted many coaches over the years in the names of their children, Angel and Valentine, who attend the presentations with their parents.

Angel and Valentine Desmond. Photo: Joy Desmond

The Desmond family’s latest donation has gone to Mudchute Park and Farm’s Children Services, which caters to children aged 0-5 years. The farm is in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, which has been identified as having one of the poorest and most disadvantaged child populations in the country.

As well as children from low income households, Mudchute Children Services also caters to children with disabilities including Autism, Down’s Syndrome, and Cerebral Palsy. Their new Variety Sunshine Coach will be used to take pupils out on educational trips, take children to Mudchute Park and Farm for the After School Club, and transport children to and from Mudchute during school holidays.

For the children with limited access to outdoor spaces and few opportunities for trips and holidays, the new Sunshine Coach will help them gain life experiences and make memories that last a lifetime.