There were bright smiles all round this week at Bramingham Primary School in Luton. This is because the school received a brand new Variety Sunshine Coach donated to them by the Luton-based, Stonegate Pub Company.

The keys to the bus, which is specially adapted to accommodate wheelchairs, were handed to Bramingham’s head teacher, Sharon Flowers, by Stonegate Pub Company’s CEO, Toby Smith in a presentation at the school.

Bramingham is a mainstream primary school with resourced provision for children with physical and medical needs. All children are included in the school community and the school ensures that all children have opportunities to access as many learning experiences as possible. The school caters for over 400 children between the ages of 4 and 11 and has a high number of children with additional needs (24% of the school population).

Bramingham Primary School has a 14 year old bus they bought second hand which is reaching the end of its useful life due to wear and tear. The new coach will be used to access curriculum trips, residential trips, weekly horse riding for children with physical and medical disabilities and swimming. The coach would also be used to enable equal access to a variety of sporting events. This Variety Sunshine coach represents a joint fundraising effort between Variety, Stonegate Pub Company and Bramingham school.

Commenting on the new bus, headteacher Sharon Flowers said, “We were getting worried that our old bus was not going to last much longer and we would not have the funds needed to buy a new bus. It’s great that we have been able to find a sponsor to provide us with a Variety Sunshine Coach that will make things so much easier when moving seats on and off the bus to make room for our wheelchairs. The children will be so excited and won’t miss the bumpy, noisy ride they are used to!”

The Variety Sunshine Coach is the first of five coaches to be presented to schools and community groups around the UK as a result of funds raised through Britain’s Biggest Pub Tour (BBPT) for Variety, the Children’s Charity.

The tour which has travelled 5,555 miles, visited 614 pubs and taken 124 days reaches its final destination, The Slug and Lettuce in Tower Bridge this Friday 26th September.

The biggest ever charity challenge taken on by pubs in the UK, the fundraising target for Britain’s Biggest Pub Tour was originally £100,000. It surpassed this in just six weeks; and this week has broken the £250,000 barrier. Throughout BBPT, a giant ‘Pledge Passport’ has been passed from pub to pub. At each stop along the way, the pubs and their customers were challenged to host a momentous fundraising event and devise a quirky and unique way to transport the Pledge Passport onto its next destination. From waterskiing in Blackpool to hare and tortoise racing in Lincoln, the BBPT Passport has literally been carried using hundreds of different methods.

Toby Smith, Stonegate Pub Company’s CEO said, “We are delighted to be able to provide a Variety Sunshine Coach to Bramingham Primary School. We are a national pub company, based here in Luton, so we are particularly thrilled to be able to help a school in our hometown. Britain’s Biggest Pub Tour has been a phenomenal success, capturing the imagination of our 12,000 employees and their customers along the way. It has brought communities together, created lots of fun and laughter and has involved the young and old. I am hugely proud of their achievements.”

Variety Chief Barker, Trevor Green, said: “The achievements of Stonegate Pub Company and its customers has been nothing short of phenomenal. We are truly grateful on behalf of the many youngsters and their families who will benefit from their fundraising. Britain’s Biggest Pub Tour has been the single biggest fundraising challenge ever undertaken for Variety, the Children’s Charity and has meant that we can provide five specially adapted Variety Sunshine Coaches to schools and community groups the UK as well as fund life-changing equipment for many more children and young people.”

As part of the fundraising proceeds from the sale of BBPT’s official single Jo Birchall’s All About Love, will go to the charity. The single is available to download on iTunes single/id887455726?ls=1

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