Chatsworth High School and Community College in Salford has been handed the keys to a brand new coach, courtesy of Stonegate Pub Company, the owners of Slug and Lettuce and Yates’s.

The coach is one seven being donated to schools and children’s organisations around the UK by the pub company following a five month charity fundraising campaign for Variety, the Children’s Charity. All 614 Stonegate pubs took part in Britain’s Biggest Pub Tour, the most ambitious fundraising campaign ever carried out by pubs before, raising a staggering £312,000.

Joining Martin Hanbury, Chatsworth’s Headteacher and children from the school at the presentation were general managers of three Manchester pubs which helped to raise funds; The Lost Dene and Slug and Lettuce on Deansgate and Yates’s on Portland Street in the City.

Chatsworth High School and Community College is the only Severe Learning Disability high school in Salford catering for up to 100 students from 11-19 years with a wide range of severe learning difficulties, profound and multiple learning difficulties and autism. Many students also have a physical disability or are wheelchair users. Due to their high level of disability most students are unable to access any inclusive or other community activities without the use of an adapted minibus and a high level of staff support.

The new coach will enable the school to take pupils on educational trips and visits to support learning, communication and social skills in the community such as learning to use money in a local supermarket. It will also allow them to access leisure activities including swimming, trampolining and cycling.
Martin Hanbury, Headteacher at Chatsworth High School said; “On behalf of Chatsworth High School and Community College I would like to thank Variety and Stonegate Pubs for helping us secure this vital resource. It will be of immeasurable benefit to the children and young people who attend the high school and community college. Through your generosity you have opened up the local community and beyond to our pupils.”

The donation was made possible through the fundraising efforts of Britain’s Biggest Pub Tour. A giant pledge passport was passed from pub to pub travelling 5,555 miles and involving all 12,000 Stonegate Pub Company employees. The original fundraising target of £100,000 was smashed within weeks of the summer long tour, eventually becoming biggest single fundraising event ever for the charity.

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 seven specially adapted Variety Sunshine Coaches to schools and community groups in the UK as well as fund life-changing equipment for many more children and young people.”