31. October 2019 | Press release

DPD UK marks 70 years of children's charity with three new Sunshine Coaches

London, 31 October 2019 – Parcel firm has now funded 73 Variety coaches for schools with additional support needs, in relationship spanning 25 years.


The UK’s No.1 domestic parcels carrier DPD, has delivered three brand new, specially adapted and bespoke Sunshine Coaches as part of Variety, the Children’s Charity’s 70th anniversary.

DPD has worked alongside Variety since 1994 and has funded a total of 73 Sunshine Coaches for schools up and down the UK in that time.

Variety was established in 1949 and has supported over one million disabled and disadvantaged children across the UK.

The Sunshine Coaches give young people with additional needs, the opportunity to experience active learning and develop life skills, outside the school environment and explore places they would otherwise never have visited. The three new DPD Sunshine Coaches have been donated to the following:

  • Holy Family Youth Centre is a voluntary youth provision for the Newington area of North Belfast. Over the last 25 years, the centre has provided a much-needed resource for the area and the new Sunshine Coach will enable children and young people to engage in a wide range of opportunities.
  • Maes Ebbw is a purpose-built special school on the outskirts of Newport. Students have a wide range of disabilities including physical, severe and complex learning difficulties and behavioural issues. The new Sunshine Coach will enable students to visit other schools, museums and the aquarium as well facilitating therapy appointments.
  • Oscott Manor School in Birmingham is a community school for young people with autism as their primary diagnosis. The new Sunshine Coach will be used daily as a mobile classroom to transport pupils to various activities including college placements and work experience to help give them the best chance to lead happy, healthy lives and to be responsible, active citizens.

Dwain McDonald, DPD UK’s CEO, commented:

“We continue to support Variety year after year because of the fantastic work they do and because it remains a hugely popular cause with our whole team. These coaches make a world of difference to the schools and it gives us enormous pleasure to handover the keys each time. DPD has worked with Variety now for over 25 years and it is a charity that is very close to our hearts. I remember hearing about Variety and the funding and delivery of the coaches when I first started working for DPD and it is just something we’ve always done.
“Variety’s 70th anniversary is a fantastic landmark and an opportunity for everyone to congratulate them on their incredible achievements over several decades. I know they are very proud of what they do, but equally, I know they have massive plans for this anniversary year and the next 70 years. We plan to keep playing our part and we wish everyone at Variety a very happy 70th!”

Jo Carter, CEO at Variety, the Children’s Charity commented:

“DPD is one of our longest standing supporters in the UK and we are hugely grateful for all their support and fantastic fundraising over the last 25 years. We are aware that there are many competing priorities for big organisations when it comes to working with charities, so to know that Variety has remained relevant and so well supported within DPD over that time, means so much to us.
“Our 70th anniversary is a fantastic celebration of everything we stand for and everything we do, and we have a huge range of events and activities lined up over the next 12 months. Our supporters are at the heart of that celebration and it is an opportunity for us to say a massive ‘thank you’ to the individuals and organisations like DPD who have supported us and continue to help fund our work helping children and young people.”



About DPD UK

The UK’s favourite parcel delivery company: DPD has been voted top in MoneySavingExpert’s consumer satisfaction poll for parcel delivery companies six years running.
In April 2015, DPD was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2015 in the Innovation category, for its unique one-hour delivery service, Predict.
DPD is a member of DPD group, one of Europe’s leading parcels groups, wholly owned by France’s La Poste, the second largest postal group in Europe.
The company operates more than 8,000 vehicles from 65 locations and delivers over 250 million parcels a year.

About Variety, the Children’s Charity

Variety believes that neither disability nor disadvantage should prevent any child or young person from realising their full potential. This year, Variety will celebrate its 70th anniversary in the UK, having been founded in October 1949. In this time, the charity has supported over one million disabled and disadvantaged children.
When statutory funding cannot adequately meet a child’s needs, Variety steps in. To ensure that it can respond specifically to the needs of each individual child, Variety provides support in the following four ways:

  • Through the provision of specially adapted, accessible transport in the form of their famous Sunshine Coaches, making it possible for children and young people to get out and about so that they can learn practical life skills and enjoy trips out to places they otherwise couldn’t get to
  • Through the provision of customised wheelchair grant, helping to increase mobility and improve independence
  • Through the provision of specialist equipment grants which support a child’s development or ability to self-care.
  • Through memorable experiences in the form of Variety Great Days Out programme which provide educational and fun day trips

Variety launched in the United States in 1928 and now operates in 13 countries across the world (United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Jersey, Republic of Ireland, France, Israel, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, Barbados and Eastern Caribbean), helping children at the local community level.
Amongst its beneficiaries, Variety is proud to have supported 55 professional athletes, 17 of whom were chosen as part of Team GB for the 2012 London Paralympics. These included Gold Medal winners and MBE honourees Ollie Hynd and Johnnie Peacock.
Variety is a registered charity in England and Wales (209259) and Scotland (SC038505)
For more information or to donate to Variety, please visit www.variety.org.uk
Follow Variety, the Children’s Charity on Twitter @VarietyGB or www.facebook.com/VarietyGB

For further information on Variety, the Children’s Charity, please contact:
Megan Hudson at East of Eden London at [email protected] / +44 (0)203 745 6968

For more information

DPD UK press contact

Gordon or Liz at MAW Communications