THE SOUND of festive fun and laughter rang out when 200 youngsters attended the children’s charity Variety’s Christmas party.
The event at The Village Hotel in Shirley featured live entertainment by Charlie Farley and Rags, a visit from Father Christmas who ensured every child received a gift, as well as plenty of party food.
There was even the chance for the children to ‘have a go’ in a Lamborghini and meet Variety the Children’s Charity’s young ambassador Dante Marvin.
The 11-year-old, who was with mum Rachel, chatted to youngsters, many of whom are sick, disabled or disadvantaged, and showed off some of his trademark body-popping moves before everyone took part in carol singing.
Dante was awarded the Pride of Britain Child of Courage Award for his outstanding work and campaigning for the charity.
He received a bespoke wheelchair from Variety and since then has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the charity.
The Liverpool schoolboy was born with brittle bone disease and scoliosis and has broken or fractured 92 bones in his life so far.
Despite that, he has helped raise £30,000 for a Sunshine Coach and he also goes to see other seriously ill children in hospital.
Dante said: “I know what it’s like to be sick or in hospital over Christmas. I once broke both legs on Christmas Day. So I’m really happy to attend Variety’s Christmas Party and do my bit to help spread some Christmas joy and cheer.
“I’m proud to be a Young Ambassador for Variety, but in order to help more children like me, they really do need the public’s support.”
Variety, the Children’s Charity, has been helping disabled and disadvantaged children across Britain to reach their full potential since 1949 and this year it celebrates its 70th anniversary. During that time, it has helped over one million children.
Charlotte Walker, Variety, the Children’s Charity regional development director said: “We believe that all children deserve to have a wonderful Christmas regardless of disability or disadvantage which is why we hold our Christmas Parties every year.
“Receiving gifts at Christmas for many is expected however for most of the children who attend our parties this simply isn’t the case.
“Many of the children would go without if it wasn’t for the gift provided by Variety.
“This makes our parties all the more important.
“Thanks to sponsorship and hundreds of toys being donated by local businesses, each party comes at no cost to the children, their families or their carers.”
This year’s parties were supported by The Big Lottery (Awards for All), Pertemps Recruitment, Mondelez International, Lloyds Banking, Lamborghini Birmingham, Hays Recruitment and Village Hotel, Solihull.