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New minibus funded through Italian Job trip is improving children’s lives

PUBLISHED: 07:30 15 December 2018

The Italian Job has funded a minibus, known as a Variety Sunshine Coach, for Hillside Special School in Sudbury, Suffolk, on behalf of Variety, the Children�s Charity Picture: MICKEY LEE MEDIAMIXER.CO.UK

The Italian Job has funded a minibus, known as a Variety Sunshine Coach, for Hillside Special School in Sudbury, Suffolk, on behalf of Variety, the Children�s Charity Picture: MICKEY LEE MEDIAMIXER.CO.UK

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Children at a special needs school in Sudbury are already benefitting from a new minibus that was funded through an Italian Job-inspired escapade around Italy.

The sponsored `Italian Job touring holiday is open to all drivers of any vehicle featured in the 1969 classic film, including modern versions of the original vehicles, with funds raised helping Variety, the Childrens Charity Picture: MICKEY LEE MEDIAMIXER.CO.UKThe sponsored `Italian Job touring holiday is open to all drivers of any vehicle featured in the 1969 classic film, including modern versions of the original vehicles, with funds raised helping Variety, the Childrens Charity Picture: MICKEY LEE MEDIAMIXER.CO.UK

Hillside Special School’s first trip in the new Variety Sunshine Coach was to decorate a Christmas tree in Sudbury for the Sudbury Christmas Tree Festival.

The much-needed new vehicle was funded by the Italian Job, which is a sponsored 1,500-mile driving holiday open to all drivers of any vehicle featured in the 1969 classic film, including modern versions of the original vehicles.

The cash raised supports the work of Variety, the Children’s Charity, that helps children realise their full potential.

Frederick St George, the Italian Job founder, handed the keys of the minibus to Michelle Kelly, Hillside’s headteacher, on Tuesday, December 4.

She said: “We are absolutely thrilled with our new bus!

“This bus will actually mean we can really make a difference to the lives of children and young people - some of whom have life-limiting conditions - as they can learn skills in the community that they can take with them into the future.

“We would like to thank Variety and the Italian Job extensively for their support of Hillside. Without them, many pupils would not be able to actually leave the site and get into the community.”

Speaking on behalf of the fundraisers, also known as jobbers, Mr St George said: “They are truly delighted to see the fruits of their fundraising efforts in the form of this specially adapted Variety Sunshine Coach for Hillside Special School.”

Variety improves the lives of children who are sick, disabled or disadvantaged. The charity will be turning 70 next year.

Colleen Ettridge, head of fundraising at Variety, said: “We are pleased to see the Italian Job’s fundraising efforts fund this Variety coach for Hillside Special School.

“Variety coaches, often regarded as mobile classrooms, enable children and young people to access educational, sporting and social activities outside of the school environment which help with their learning as well as personal development.”

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