Who we are

Brought here by movie moguls from the USA and inaugurated in the UK in 1949 (as The Variety Club of Great Britain), Variety was founded especially for children and young people.


Our Aim

We believe that all children should have an equal opportunity to reach their potential, regardless of their circumstances. 

All our programmes are designed to help less fortunate children to achieve precisely that.

Whom we help and how

We improve those young lives by providing practical help (such as Sunshine Coaches, wheelchairs and specialist equipment) and memorable childhood experiences.

Our practical help makes an immediate difference. It means that children have fewer bad days and more great days. With independence, freedom and dignity they are able to make the most of their childhood.

We play a key role in building the self esteem of children who are disadvantaged and in making them the people who they become.

The international world of Variety

We are part of Variety International, a global charity with three core initiatives: Freedom, Future and Caring. These themes are reflected in our UK programmes.

How we’re organised

There is a board of trustees responsible for the direction and governance of the charity. Trustees are recruited from the membership of Variety, the Children’s Charity. Members are known as Barkers.

There are currently 392 under the leadership of the Chief Barker.

The  Chief Barker is elected annually, usually for a period of one year.

The charity’s services are delivered by a combination of  committees, staff members and volunteers.  Fundraising is similarly structured.

We have many celebrity supporters. Not surprising for a charity whose roots are so firmly in the entertainment industry!

Charity no 209259 (England & Wales)
Charity no SCO38505 (Scotland)