Back to May 2018

Llandaff’s Marion Centre presented with Variety Sunshine Coach

A Llandaff School has been presented with a Variety Sunshine Coach, thanks to a donation from Leeds Building Society.

The Marion Centre at Bishop Of Llandaff Church-in-Wales High School provides a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum for the specific needs of students with autistic spectrum conditions.

It accommodates up to 42 students across the full 11-19 secondary age range. Staff are trained, specialist teachers with an SEN qualification, are Team Teach (UK) trained and use the TEACCH approach.

The brand-new Sunshine Coach will give pupils access to a range of activites away from the school environment. The children will use the coach to visit other schools and colleges, take part in work placements and further develop a range of independence and social skills.

Colleen Ettridge, Head of Fundraising at Variety, the Children’s Charity, said: “We are extremely grateful to Leeds Building Society for funding this coach provided by Variety.

“Variety coaches, often regarded as mobile classrooms, enable children to focus on their abilities and not their disabilities. Children can access educational, sporting and social activities which help with their learning and personal development.”

The Sunshine Coach is the fourth to be donated by Leeds Building Society thanks to donations of its members via the Society’s ‘Your Interest In Theirs’ scheme.

Through Your Interest In Theirs members can donate the pence amount of interest earned each year through their Leeds Building Society savings accounts to charity.

Luke Wellock, Corporate Responsibility Manager at Leeds Building Society, said: “Our members have made a significant contribution to our fundraising efforts for Variety over the years. As a result we have been able to donate four buses to organisations across the country that make a difference to people’s lives.”

Jo Thomas, Head of the Marion Centre, said: “We are very grateful to both Variety and Leeds Building Society for their donation of a brand new minibus. The students at the Marion Centre rely on a bus to experience a broad enhanced curriculum to support their complex educational needs. This minibus will enable staff to increase the variety of educational experiences, trips and activities our students can engage in so thank you!”


Notes to Editors

About Leeds Building Society

Leeds Building Society operates throughout the UK, Gibraltar and Ireland and has assets of £18.5bn at 31st December 2017 (£15.9bn at 31st December 2016). The Society’s head office has been based in the centre of Leeds since 1886.

About Variety, the Children’s Charity

Variety, the Children’s Charity, believes that neither disability nor disadvantage should prevent a child from realising their full potential. Since setting up its UK division in 1949, the charity has raised over £200 million and supported over 800,000 children affected by ill health, disadvantage and disability.

Variety was launched in the United States in 1928. It has charities across more than 10 countries (United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Jersey, Republic of Ireland.

Israel, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Australia, Barbados, and Eastern Caribbean) helping children at the local community level.

With a focus on helping children make the most of their childhood, Variety provides support through four core programmes:

Mobility - providing specialist equipment including customised electric wheelchairs and bespoke Sunshine Coaches for schools ensuring children develop a greater sense of freedom and adventure

Health - equipping children's hospitals with the latest medical technology and life changing aids

Education - equipping Youth Clubs and young people’s organisations – facilitating new skills and developing greater self-worth

Variety Great Days Out - providing new experiences through educational programmes and exciting outings

Variety is a registered charity in England and Wales (209259) and Scotland (SC038505)

For more information or to donate to Variety, please visit

Follow Variety, the Children’s Charity on twitter @VarietyGB or

About the Marion Centre

The Marion Centre provides specialist support to students with the Autistic Spectrum Condition within The Bishop of Llandaff CiW High School. It can accommodate up to 42 students across the full secondary age range, with approximately six students in each year group.