Sunshine Week

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Sunshine schools make us smile!

Variety was delighted to organise our second Sunshine Week with schools from around the country following the theme of ‘wearing yellow and going for gold’ to raise money and support our work improving young lives across the UK.
Variety Sunshine Week 2012 took place from Monday 18th to Friday 22nd June this year and as we are proud to be able to support a number of young disabled athletes who have been called up to Team GB for the Paralympics this summer, the theme aimed to encompass a sports theme.

Our Community Fundraising Manager, Frankie Holah, visited one of the schools taking part - Charlbury School in Oxfordshire - on the Friday as she hosted their Sunshine Sports Day.

Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t co-operating on the day, and without a ray of sunshine in sight, the event had to be postponed. However, as the school have chosen Variety, the Children’s Charity, to be their ‘Charity of the Year’, Frankie was presented with a cheque for £3000 including Gift Aid in a special assembly that celebrated the ‘Variety Relay Run’ that they held earlier in the month.

The school are looking forward to rescheduling their sunshine event once the weather improves and summer finally returns!

Charlbury School Head teacher, Jane Holt, said:

“Everyone had a fantastic day taking part in the ‘Variety Relay Run’, and the staff and pupils worked really hard to make sure it was a success.”
Variety Community Fundraising Manager, Frankie Holah, said:

“It’s wonderful that we have had lots of schools signing up to take part in our Sunshine Week again this year and it’s fantastic that lots of the schools are really getting into the sporting spirit of things by getting active to raise funds.”

“Variety are so proud to be able to support many young disabled athletes and are thrilled that 10 have already been named in Team GB for the Paralympics. We hope that through our fundraising efforts, we will be able to support many more in the future.”

“Thank you to all of the schools for taking part and we are already looking forward to Variety Sunshine Week 2013!”

Variety Paralympians make Team GB

Variety, the Children’s Charity, is thrilled to hear that more of the young disabled athletes we have supported over the years have been chosen to represent Team GB at the 2012 Paralympics this summer.
Recently announced athletes include Oliver Hynd, Andrew Mullen, Jack Bridge, Dan English and Jacob Thomas who will all be a part of the strong Team GB in their respective disciplines.
The swimming trio of Oliver, Andrew and John, as well as Jacob in Boccia and Dan in 5-a-side Football, join a number of Variety supported athletes to have already been called up for selection including Kim Daybell and Ross Wilson, who were called up to the Table Tennis squad last month.
Congratulations to all of the athletes and we can’t wait to see you all in action this summer at the London 2012 Paralympics!
Please visit the brand new Paralympics GB website for more information all of the selected athletes:
To find out more informaion about how Variety support disability sports, please click here.

Celebrating A Successful Sunshine Week!

Our brand new fundraising event, Sunshine Week took place over the 19th to the 23rd of September and featured over 50 schools taking part nationwide. Sunshine Week is all about children fundraising for disadvantaged and disabled children, as well as raising awareness of those who need our help and thanks to our supporters, the first year has been a real success.

View some of the brilliant photos from the week here.

Brindishe Green School in Lewisham, South London launched the week with their ‘Channel Challenge’, to the length of the English Channel in their own Make a Splash pool. This would be a great challenge for anyone, but for these children, of whom many are just starting to learn how to swim, it was a really big one and their final fundraising total of £723.52 really shows how much everyone involved put into the challenge.

Brindishe Green Associate Headteacher, Sarah Gorbutt said,

“This was a whole school event and all of the children at Brindishe Green really relished the opportunity to ‘cross the channel’. Even those new to the water managed to take part successfully and we are delighted with how much money has been raised.”

Our next stop was to Market Rasen Primary in Lincolnshire to meet our friend and author, Georgia Twynham. Georgia’s book ‘The Thirteenth’ was recently awarded the Lincolnshire Children’s Book Award and she has been a fantastic supporter of our Sunshine Week, visiting libraries across the region over the summer to organise special sunny events.

During the day, the school held a special Sunshine Circus Day and incorporated the Sunshine Week into their lessons using the teaching resources available on the website.

Market Rasen Primary Deputy Headteacher, Nichola Boulton said,

“Thank you for making the journey up to see us last week. The children really enjoyed the week and all of the activities - especially the dressing up on the Friday!”

Our final visit was to Charlbury School in Oxfordshire who held a Sunshine Non-Uniform Day and cake sale, raising a fantastic £242. The school has also adopted Variety Club as their Charity of the Year and will be supporting us with a number of events over the coming year. The school also has another connection to Variety Club as our very own Community Fundraising Manager, Frankie Holah is a former pupil!

Charlbury Headteacher, Jane Holt said,

“In celebration of Sunshine Week, we asked all of the pupils to wear something yellow for the day on Friday the 23rd and donate £1 to take part. We were also able to produce a wonderfully bright display of drawings of what some of the pupils thought Sunny’s friend would look like and thanks to the support of parents and staff, brightly iced sunshine cakes and cookies were baked to sell for 20p each after school.

“We all had fantastic fun on Friday and managed to raise £242 for a very worthy charity. We wanted all of our pupils to realise how fortunate they are, to fundraise for disadvantaged and disabled children and to build awareness of those who desperately need our help and support.”

Variety Club’s Community Fundraising Manager, Frankie Holah said,

“All of the schools taking part were totally inspiring and it was brilliant to have the opportunity to visit some of the schools, as their enthusiasm was electric.”

Thank you to all those who have taken part in and supported Sunshine Week this year - we can’t wait to start planning what we are going to do for next year!

If any schools would like to put on a Sunshine Day, you can still register and use the resources available on this website.

For those who did take part this year, please send in any photos you would like to share and if you have raised money, please use the money return form available on the website. For any queries, please contact Frankie .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Thank you to everyone who has supported the first ever Sunshine Week from the schools, to Timto, Raring2Go, Georgia Twynham, our photographer Tom Wren and Mumsnet. We couldn’t do it without you!

Sunshine Week starts with a splash

Brindishe Green school in Lewisham launched Sunshine Week yesterday in style. Using their Make a Splash swimming pool the pupils are taking on the challenge of swimming the length of the English Channel as a team effort to raise money and awareness of Sunshine Week.
Year 2 started the challenge in groups of 15 and each swam 4 lengths of the pool. For anyone, swimming the length of the channel is a challenge, but many of these children are just learning how to swim.

It was an absolute pleasure to meet the staff and pupils at the school and we all wish them the best of luck with their challenge.

Good Luck Brindishe Green and thank you so much for all of your support.

*Photos coming soon*


Mumsnet makes Sunshine Week their Campaign of the Week……Twice!!

Mumsnet have been supporting Sunshine Week by making the event their campaign of the week for the second time round. July 25th saw the first advert for Sunshine Week go live and Mumsnet will also be featuring us the site from September 19th – 23rd to mark the official launch of the fundraiser on Monday.

A massive thank you to Mumsnet for their support. We can’t wait to see Sunshine Week back up on the site.

Timto bring Sunshine to children’s parties

Sunshine Week has teamed up with the fantastic Timto to give you Sunshine Parties. Timto makes children’s birthday parties more fun than ever before by enabling friends to give memorable presents together and help a charity too.

As their featured Charity you can set up your party and donate to Sunshine Week.

To find out more and create your perfect party, check out the website at

Sam’s Film for Sunshine Week

We are extremely proud to introduce our brand new short film for Sunshine Week directed by the award winning director Andy Taylor Smith and featuring our star Sam.

Sam suffers from Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy and his new wheelchair was funded by Variety, the Children’s Charity. Sam can now get around a lot more freely and his favourite hobby is playing basketball with his friends.

It was a fantastic experience working with Sam and his family to create the film. A huge thank you to them for their patience and support.

Take a two minute break and watch Sam’s Film

Donal takes Sunshine Week on Daybreak

Did you spot us on Daybreak? Variety Club’s wonderful Ambassador, Donal MacIntyre appeared on the show to talk about Sunshine Week. It was really exciting hearing it mentioned on national television. Thank you to Donal and Daybreak for your support.

Georgia Twynham takes Sunshine Week into Libraries

For the past two weeks local author Georgia Twynham has been travelling Lincolnshire spreading ‘Sunshine’ to children. Working hand in hand with Lincolnshire Library Service, she has entertained children with Sunshine Circus antics to support the Summer Reading Challenge Circus Stars. She’s also getting the children excited about the up and coming Sunshine Week 19th to 23rd September.

Georgia said, “The children loved creating friends for Sunny, our mascot, learning more about what the Variety Club charity does, and how raising funds during Sunshine week will help bring so much joy to so many children.”

A huge thank you to Georgia for all of her amazing support spreading sunshine…

Celebrity Chef Bryn Williams helps to launch Sunshine Week

Bryn Williams, an official ambassador of the Variety Club, visited Kentish Town Primary School on Monday 4th July to launch the charity’s imminent ‘Sunshine Week’ fundraiser. Bryn baked with the kids, helping them to decorate cakes that will then be sold to raise vital funds.

A fun and easy way to help raise money for the charity, Bryn Williams and The Variety Club are encouraging as many people as possible to get involved in ‘Sunshine Week’ between Monday 19th and Friday 23rd September.

The Sunshine Week blog

As Sunshine Week gets started you can find all of the latest news and updates in our brand new blog. If you have anything exctiing to tell us about your fundraising activities, please get in touch and we will do our best to get it up on the site.

You can also follow The Variety Club on twitter at @VarietyclubGB - any time you mention us, it will appear on the feed on the right hand side of this page.