With the generous support of Crest Nicholson, Variety, the Children’s Charity has supplied three of its iconic Sunshine Coaches to Clifton Hill, Hazel Court and Beaucroft Foundation Schools. The three Variety Sunshine Coaches were delivered on Tuesday, 4 June, at a presentation at Silvermere Golf and Leisure in Surrey. All three schools support students with a range of educational and learning difficulties. The coaches will be used to enable travel to exciting educational visits and outdoor sporting activities, for pupils unable to travel by public transport.
John Shelbourne, Managing Director at Crest Nicholson South: “We’re proud to be long-time supporters of Variety and the vital work that it carries out in communities across the UK. Local people are at the heart of the communities that we build, and these donations will help the students of all three Schools better enjoy the activities around the area. I am pleased to present these coaches today and, with plenty more fundraising events and activities planned, look forward to working with Variety and this very worthwhile cause.”
Danielle Roche, Corporate Partnerships Manager at Variety, said: “We are delighted that the pupils Clifton Hill, Hazel Court and Beaucroft Foundation Schools have received their new Sunshine Coaches, and would like to say a huge thank you to Crest Nicholson South for their generosity. These coaches enable children and young people with special needs to get the most out of school life by accessing learning and recreational facilities outside of the school environment.”
Lucy Wijsveld, Headteacher at Clifton Hill, said: “Students at Clifton Hill join us as children. When they leave, they are young adults and we must empower them to become happy, ambitions and ready to embrace the rest of their lives. For this reason, our curriculum is built around the principle of ‘Keeping their World Wide.’ Sunshine Coaches enable us to challenge our students to apply the skills they learn in our classrooms to their communities, workplaces and the wider world. This results in real, deep learning that stays with our students for a whole lifetime.”
Diane Makariou, Co Headteacher at Beaucroft Foundation School, said: “When the buses break down, it causes significant distress to the children. With minimal school budget, the repairs are impacting on the ability to provide a broad and balanced curriculum to our students. The new specially adapted Variety Sunshine Coach will be used every day to take the students to local supermarkets, cafes, riding stables and sports centres. Also, the new minibuses would be vital in providing pupils with a range of different experiences that our children would not necessarily have access to in their home life, such as trips to the cinema, sailing lakes, residential visits and even a visit to Harry Potter World.”
Sophie Gurney, Headteacher at Hazel Court, said: “Hazel Court were recently lucky enough to gain a new Variety Sunshine Coach. Hazel Court School is a school for young people (age 11 – 19) who have severe, profound and complex needs. Having a means of transport to get out into the local community is vital. For many reasons our learners do not have easy access to their local community and having a Variety bus enables quick and easy connection to the world around them. Having a specially adapted Sunshine Coach with a Tail Lift means that those who use wheelchairs are easily loaded, unloaded, and transported safely to their destination.
“Even access to things like swimming, which is vital for our young people is impossible without the use of a Variety Sunshine Coach. There is no doubt about the difference a Variety Sunshine Coach can make to our school population.
“As a school we are always raising money through different events. We have Coffee mornings at each department throughout the year and our Christmas and Easter Events with raffles, tombola and crafts made by the pupils/students raises funds to contribute to our minibus fund.
“We use our Variety Sunshine Coach with pride and are ever so grateful for those who through various events raised the money to allow some of the most disadvantaged young people in our population, new experiences and freedom.”