Sunderland restaurant helps children’s charity

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A RESTAURANT group is reaching out to disabled and disadvantaged children.

The Martino’s Group, which has branches in Seaburn and Seaham, is the latest business to pledge its support to children’s charity, Variety.

Formerly known as Variety Club, the charity is looking for North-East businesses to pledge their backing over a two-year period to fund the construction of a specialist Sunshine Coach, piece by piece.

Money raised from the Build a Bus scheme goes towards the provision of specialist equipment like wheelchairs and lifting aids, to financing new developments on dedicated hospital wards and fun activities for North East children.

Owner of Martino’s, Gavin Leng, said: “We are so excited and honoured to be helping such an influential local charity in its current venture and have plans for upcoming events such as charity music nights and evening cookery classes, where our customers can sign up to learn how to cook some of our signature Martino’s dishes.

“On top of this, for the children we are doing ‘build your own pizza’ sessions on selected nights in which, when a child orders a pizza, they are presented with a selection of toppings and can create it themselves.

“This is just one of the many ‘build your own’ themed experiences we will be holding to coincide with the name of the Build a Bus campaign.”

Chairman of Variety, Tony Thornton, said: “The amount needed to pay for a Sunshine Coach is £20,000 and this can be raised by various fund-raising activities, which the charity has hundreds of suggestions for, as well as suggestions being presented to us from local businesses already involved.

“Due to having a two-year period to raise the funds, we have set realistic goals instead of attempting to run large events which are harder to pull off, and the work that Martino’s is going to do will match the targets we have set for ourselves and our other sponsors.”

n Companies interested in joining Variety’s Build a Bus scheme can contact JAM Marketing on 0845 900 2127 or email for further information.