Last Friday, two representatives from Dash to the Med 2016 presented the coach they worked so hard to raise money for, to Papillon House School.

Dash to the Med was organised by Chris Driscoll; 16 teams competed in a race from Reigate in Surrey, to Cannes, France. The cars used could only be bought for a maximum of £500, no modern day technology was allowed to help along the way and motorways were forbidden as part of the route! This amazing event raised £80,000 for four charities, Variety was lucky enough to be one of them.

Chris Driscoll, the organiser behind Dash to the Med 2016, said:

“We were delighted to raise funds for such an incredibly worthy cause. Meeting all the young students and dedicated staff at Papillon House was a truly moving experience, one that will last for quite some time. Realising the opportunities that this new Variety Coach will provide them with will no doubt get us to put our thinking hats on for another challenge going forward. The laughter, smiles and energy was infectious.”

Gillian Hutton, Director at Papillon House School, said:

“Papillon House School is a special school for children aged 5-19 years with profound autism and associated challenging behaviours. A very important aspect of our curriculum involves community visits such as going to the local supermarket, cafes and garden centres. Although for many children these may be part of everyday family life for our children they can prove very stressful due to sensory overload. It is important therefore that we give our children as many opportunities to experience these settings as possible. To access these and other activities such as visits to the local gym, museums in London and the seaside we need our own transport.

We are very fortunate that since 2011 Variety and their sponsors have supported Papillon and our wonderful children to ensure they are able to have all these opportunities.

Variety are an amazing organisation. Everyone works so hard and are incredibly supportive. In January we were presented with our fourth Sunshine Coach. We were delighted to welcome Variety and their sponsors to the school for the presentation. We held a special Music Assembly and presented thank you cards made by our pupils.

I cannot express how important Variety and its sponsors have been to Papillon over the last seven years. So again, a huge, huge thank you from all our children, their families and the staff. THANK YOU!”