Event raises £141,000 for region’s children

The Variety Yorkshire Business Awards raised more than £141,000 last week to support disadvantaged children.

Attendees of the event in Leeds donated cash to fund the work Variety does around the region, including providing iconic Sunshine Coaches that help disabled youngsters enjoy much-needed experiences.

Leeds-based medical group Surgical Innovations committed to funding a Sunshine Coach as part of the event’s fundraising.

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Rachel Stirland, headteacher at The Phoenix School, which supports children with severe and complex needs in the Keighley area, praised Variety for its work in the region.

There are currently 200 Sunshine Coaches on the road in Yorkshire. This year the charity has funded 27 appeals, five specialist wheelchairs and has entertained almost 3,000 children through its Variety at Work programme.

Ms Stirland said the charity works to support the most vulnerable children, “whether it be providing them escapism for the day or something as basic as a pair of shoes that fit”.

She said: “Without Variety, our children would have been confined to the school building.

“By giving us a specially adapted minibus our children have learned simple skills that every other child takes for granted.

“Variety has made a difference not only to our school, but also to our families.”